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Acta Orthop Belg. 1995;61(4):319-22.

Cerebral embolism during revision arthroplasty of the hip.

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Traumatology Service, La Paz Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


Cerebral embolism poses one of the most perplexing problems in cerebrovascular disease; fat emboli and marantic air emboli occur occasionally. However, the most common cause for a cerebral embolism is degenerative changes in the central arteries. The authors report the case of a 75-year-old female suffering from ischemic cerebrovascular disease of the left dominant hemisphere during a revision arthroplasty of the right hip (cementless Austin Moore hemiarthroplasty to a cemented Charnley total hip replacement); a cement gun was used to introduce the cement; both the induction of anesthesia and the surgical procedure were uneventful. The patient awoke slowly, and when awake she showed a combination of contralateral hemiplegia, and right hemianesthesia with global aphasia; the CT scan showed an ischemic lesion in the territory of the middle cerebral artery; during the following two weeks the patient showed complete recovery from the clinical syndrome. This complication must be recognized by every orthopedic surgeon, and a high clinical index of suspicion remains essential to early diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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