Lumbar spinal epidural lipomatosis: A case report and review of the literature


Lumbar spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) is a rare condition defined by an excessive deposition of adipose tissue in the lumbar spinal canal. The objective of this case report is to document a clinical case of SEL presenting within a multidisciplinary spine clinic and to compare our clinical findings and management with the available literature.

Case presentation:

A 51-year-old female presented at a spine clinic with low back pain, bilateral leg pain and difficulty walking. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine showed evidence of severe central canal stenosis due to extensive epidural lipomatosis. She was initially advised to lose weight and undergo a 3-month course of physiotherapy. However, because of lack of improvement, she was scheduled for and underwent L4-S1 posterior spinal decompression and L4-L5 posterior spinal instrumented fusion. At 12-month follow-up, the patient reported no pain and retained the ability to walk regular distances without experiencing discomfort.


This case report describes the conservative and surgical management of a case of lumbar spinal stenosis due to SEL. The therapeutic approach of patients with this condition is not standardized. As such, a discussion of the literature with respect to the diagnosis, clinical presentation, epidemiology, imaging appearance, risk factors, etiology, and management of SEL is also presented.


Case report; Conservative care; Low back pain; Posterior spinal decompression; Posterior spinal instrumented fusion; Spinal epidural lipomatosis.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on vk
Share on pinterest
Close Menu