What is a lipomyelomeningocele

A lipomyelomeningocele is a common congenital spinal anomaly in which herniation of a lipoma into the conus medullaris or the dorsal spinal cord occurs through an osseous defect and communicates with an adjacent subcutaneous fatty mass. It is a common cause of tethered cord syndrome. Symptoms may include constipation, urinary urgency, dyspareunia, lumbar pain, or cephalgia (headache) with defecation. The term lipomyelomeningocele is actually a misnomer, because abnormal neural tissue does not extend outside of the spinal canal. Surgical treatment of this anomaly is extremely challenging and should be referred to a regional center with extensive treatment of these lesions.

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