OBJECT: Initial management for lumbar pseudomeningoceles entails the closed external drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with or without blood patch application. The presence of longstanding pseudomeningoceles and those associated with nonmicroscopic dural tears can be more problematic. Additionally the failure of nonoperative measures may necessitate surgery. Ideally the procedure should involve repairing the dural defect, removing the encapsulated cavity of the pseudomeningocele, and obliterating the extraspinal dead space to minimize the recurrence of the problem. METHODS: The authors describe a technique performed in 12 patients with large (> 5-cm-diameter) pseudomeningoceles referred for management following the failure of less aggressive measures. Diagnosis was based on symptoms of lumbar wound swelling, postural headaches, back and leg pain, and was confirmed by imaging studies. In all patients subarachnoid CSF drainage and initial operative attempts to obliterate the pseudomeningocele had failed. They were treated between July 1990 and July 1998. The cause of the pseudomeningoceles was lumbar discectomy (four patients), lumbar decompression (one patient), lumbar decompression and placement of instrumentation (five patients), and intradural procedures (two patients). Their mean age was 47.9 years (range 20-67 years), and they presented at a mean of 5.5 months postoperatively (range 3 weeks-37 months). In all cases there was a satisfactory repair of the pseudomeningocele, dead space obliteration, and long-term symptomatic resolution. CONCLUSIONS: Lumbar myofascial advancement for this problem is a useful technique in cases of symptomatic pseudomeningoceles. This technique requires the medial advancement of the musculofascial units of the paravertebral muscles for a layered closure over the exposed spinal canal with obliteration of the pseudomeningocele.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology