Pathological fracture due to vertebral osteonecrosis associated with pancreatitis


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Abstract

A 50-year-old man with a history of alcohol-induced pancreatitis was admitted to a hospital with swelling and pain of the right ankle, and fever, and was suspected to have osteomyelitis. Radiographs of the fingers, ankles, and feet, in which pain and swelling were present, revealed multiple pathological fractures. The histological examination of the tissue sample in the right radius showed sequestrated fat necrosis. Bacterial culture test remained negative. Based on the findings mentioned above, a diagnosis of intraosseous fat necrosis associated with pancreatitis was made. Treatments proven to be effective in the literature for pancreatitis were started. Symptoms of the bones and joints gradually improved. However, pancreatitis relapsed, triggered by drinking, 4 months after discharge. He had complaints of back pain without any history of trauma. Radiographs showed fractures of the entire vertebral body from the 12th thoracic to 5th lumbar vertebrae. What was interesting about the present case was that, after the pathological fractures of the extremities were completely resolved, osteonecrosis relapsed as pancreatitis deteriorated, resulting in pancreatic cyst rupture into the intrathoracic cavity and vertebrae, differing from the previous lesions that were affected. There are very few cases of pathological fracture induced by pancreatitis that affect the vertebrae.

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