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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Management of giant pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery

Yi-Jan Weng1, Chin-Chang Cheng12, Yen-Yao Li12, Tsung-Jen Huang123* and Robert Wen-Wei Hsu12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Chiayi, Taiwan, No 6, West, Chiapu Road, Putz, Chiayi (613), Taiwan

2 College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, No 259 Wenhwa 1st Road, Kweishan, Taoyuan (333), Taiwan

3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Xiamen Chang Gung Hospital, Fujian, China, No 123, Xiafei Road, Xinyang Industrial Zone, Haicang District, Xiamen, Fujian (361026), China

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010, 11:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-53

Published: 21 March 2010



Pseudomeningoceles are a rare complication after spinal surgery, and studies on these complex formations are few.


Between October 2000 and March 2008, 11 patients who developed symptomatic pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery were recruited. In this retrospective study, we reported our experiences in the management of these complex, symptomatic pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery. A giant pseudomeningocele was defined as a pseudomeningocele >8 cm in length. We also evaluated the risk factors for the formation of giant pseudomeningoceles.


All patients were treated successfully with a combined treatment protocol of open revision surgery for extirpation of the pseudomeningoceles, repair of dural tears, and implantation of a subarachnoid catheter for drainage. Surgery-related complications were not observed. Recurrence of pseudomeningocele was not observed for any patient at a mean follow-up of 16.5 months. This result was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging.


We conclude that a combined treatment protocol involving open revision surgery for extirpation of pseudomeningoceles, repair of dural tears, and implantation of a subarachnoid catheter for drainage is safe and effective to treat giant pseudomeningoceles.