Intradural Disc Herniation in the Setting of Congenital Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

A. Ghaffari-Rafi, K. Nosova, K. Kim, A. Goodarzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Accounting for an estimated 1.10-1.76% of all lumbar herniations, lumbar intradural disc herniation (IDH) occurs primarily in males during the fourth to fifth decades of life. While not validated, congenital lumbar spinal stenosis (CLSS) is implicated as one precipitating factor for IDH. Case report: We report 28-year-old Hispanic female with CLSS, severe obesity, and degenerative disk disease, with a history of minimally invasive surgical (MIS) decompression for a large paracentral L4-5 disc herniation at 25. After three years, the patient developed sudden burning dysesthesias in the L4-5 dermatomes bilaterally and temporary leg weakness. Lumbar magnetic resonance imaging exhibited severe L4-5 spinal stenosis, and the patient underwent repeat MIS decompression, which again provided her with adequate symptom resolution. However, 20 days postoperatively she developed cauda equina syndrome with anal dysfunction, and bilateral leg and foot weakness. Upon open surgical exploration we discovered a tense L4-5 dural protrusion. After a dorsal durotomy, a large IDH with a ventral dural tear was identified. Subsequent to adequate debulking of the IDH, the ventral tear was repaired, and an expansile duraplasty was performed. Overall, the patient's bladder and bowel function, pain, hypoesthesia, and motor strength all improved. Two weeks after surgery she presented with a lumbar pseudomeningocele that was managed conservatively. Conclusion: This report not only highlights an atypical presentation of IDH and is the first case of CLSS linked with IDH, lending support to the hypothesis that CLSS can lead to IDH, but also provides a comprehensive review of IDHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Case report
  • Congenital lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Intradural disc herniation
  • Lumbar spine
  • Pseudomeningocele
  • Ventral dural tear
  • Ventral durotomy
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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