Multiple-Layer Lumbosacral Pseudomeningocele Repair with Bilateral Paraspinous Muscle Flaps and Literature Review

Christopher Banerjee, Brandy Cross, Jacob Carl Lewis Rumley, John Devine, Edmond F Ritter, John Vender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Pseudomeningocele is an uncommon but widely recognized complication of spinal surgery that can be challenging to correct. When conservative measures fail, patients frequently require reoperation to attempt primary closure of the durotomy, yet attempts at true watertight closures of the dura or fascia sometimes fall short. We describe a technique of lumbosacral pseudomeningocele repair involving a 2-layer pants-over-vest closure of the pseudomeningocele coupled with mobilization of bilateral paraspinal musculature to create a Z-plasty, or a Z-shaped flap. We have demonstrated a high success rate with our small series. Methods: The technique used meticulous manipulation of the pseudomeningocele to make a 2-layer pants-over-vest closure. This closure coupled with wide mobilization and importation of paraspinous muscle into the wound effectively obliterated dead space with simultaneous tamponade of the dural tear. The lateral row perforators were left intact, providing excellent vascularity with adequate mobility to the patient. Results: This technique was incorporated into the care of 10 patients between 2004 and July 2019. All wounds were closed in a single stage after careful flap section based on the wound's needs. We demonstrated successful pseudomeningocele resolution in all 10 patients with no observed clinical recurrence of symptomatic pseudomeningocele after at least 6 months of follow-up. Conclusions: This technique provides a straightforward option for the spine surgeon to manage these challenging spinal wounds with minimal, if any, need for further laminectomy as well as a high fistula control rate with minimal morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e693-e700
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Paraspinous muscle flap
  • Pseudomeningocele
  • Repair
  • Revision
  • Z-plasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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