What Is Lumbar Epidural Lipomatosis?

Q:
What is lumbar epidural lipomatosis?

A:
Lumbar epidural lipomatosis, or spinal epidural lipomatosis,  a benign condition of fatty tissue overgrowth within the spinal epidural space. It may lead to spinal cord compression in the lumbar or thoracic region. In severe cases, the compression may be symptomatic.

Generally the condition occurs in middle-aged and older adults. Their symptoms are often non-specific and may be similar to other degenerative spinal conditions resulting in stenosis. Some common symptoms may include:

  • a combination of pain, especially back pain
  • radicular symptoms,
  • sensation of pinpricks or tingling sensation
  • weakness in legs, and
  • paresthesia.

For diagnosis, the disease can be seen in both CT and MRI. The latter is better able to identify impingement upon the cauda equina.

In most instances, patients need no specific treatment, although review of need for steroid and weight loss are sensible interventions. In some patients symptoms are severe and operative decompression is required, and is usually successful.

 


Keywords: lumbar epidural lipomatosis

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