Thoracic spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) involves the pathological overgrowth of histologically normal, unencapsulated adipose tissue that can compress the spinal cord and cause myelopathy. SEL has been associated with multiple medical conditions, including Scheuermann kyphosis (SK). Optimal treatment strategies for SEL, especially in the setting of a sagittal spinal deformity, remain unclear.
In this report, the authors discussed surgical management of a patient with thoracic SEL and SK using skip hemilaminotomies for resection of the epidural adipose tissue. To the authors’ knowledge, only one other report described a similar surgical technique in a patient who did not have a spinal deformity.
When conservative efforts fail, thoracic SEL may require surgical treatment. Surgical planning must account for co-medical conditions such as SK. The described approach involving skip laminotomies, which minimizes spine destabilization, is a viable option to treat SEL spanning multiple spinal segments. Prognosis after surgical treatment varies and is impacted by multiple factors, including severity of preoperative neurological deficits.