Traumatic lumbar visceral herniation in a young woman

Ashley Woolbert, Emily R. Calasanz, Muhammad Nazim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION Lumbar herniation is uncommon, with traumatic etiology being rare. Traumatic lumbar hernias are usually caused by seatbelt injury in motor vehicle accidents. It is exceedingly uncommon to see lumbar hernias in an unrestrained passenger of a motor vehicle accident. PRESENTATION OF CASE We present a case of a traumatic inferior lumbar hernia in a young woman who was an unrestrained driver of a vehicle involved in a high-speed collision, with multiple rollover and ejection. CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis suggested soft tissue injury involving muscles in the left lower posterior flank with traumatic herniation of the colon and small bowel. Emergent midline abdominal laparotomy confirmed herniation in the left lower quadrant. After abdominal closure, in the prone position, an extensive laceration over the left flank also confirmed herniation. Due to its dirty nature, the wound was irrigated, lavaged and covered with wound vacuum-assisted closure placement. The decision was made in favor of delayed elective hernia repair. DISCUSSION Lumbar hernias are usually caused by sudden force to the abdomen, leading to increased intra-abdominal pressure. This pressure combined with areas of weakness in the superior and/or inferior triangle lead to herniation. Uncommonly, the contents of lumbar hernias can strangulate or incarcerate leading to bowel obstruction. This can often be prevented by detection with CT and laparotomy. CONCLUSION Lumbar herniation of traumatic etiology is rare. Early detection with CT and/or exploratory laparotomy is important to avoid increases in size of the defect and bowel strangulation and incarceration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1063
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Lumbar hernia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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