Epidural Scar, post surgical

Unknown Spine Case 10


48 y/o man with a history of previous back surgery, now presenting with recurrent right leg pain.

Image Findings

A soft tissue mass effect is seen in the lateral recess on the right at L4-5, replacing the normal epidural fat. After Gadolinium administration, marked enhancement is seen in the lateral recess.


The differential diagnosis in a post surgical back includes primarily recurrent herniated disk vs. scar. Post surgical scar will usually show enhancement with Gadolinium, unlike recurrent disk. The fat suppression improves the conspicuity of the enhancement.

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Last modified January 2, 1997
Copyright 1997 Ray Ballinger, University of Florida and VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL.
URL: http://www.xray.ufl.edu/~rball/teach/6708.html