We present a case of endometriosis of lumbar vertebrae. The literatures are reviewed with endometriosis of spine.
Summary of background data
Endometriosis is a common condition, which is defined as endometrial tissue lying outside the endometrial cavity. It is usually found within the peritoneal cavity, predominantly within the pelvis, commonly on the uterosacral ligaments. It can also be found in other sites such as umbilicus, abdominal scars, nasal passages and pleural cavity. But it is very rarely seen in the spine, with no report of endometriosis found in the lumbar vertebrae.
A 33-year-old woman presented with severe low back pain. She had the low back pain periodically for 3 years, and the pain was associated with menstruation. Radiographs showed a lesion in the posterior L3 body. After surgery, tissue biopsy indicated the presence of endometrial tissue in the lesion and thus confirmed endometriosis.
Most cases of spine endometriosis that have been reported are usually found inside spinal canal, endorachis or spinal cord. But spinal vertebrae can also be involved in endometriosis.
Although endometriosis is a rare possible cause of periodical low back pain in women of childbearing age, we suggest that if a woman suffering from periodical low back pain is encountered, do not ignore the possibility of endometriosis in the spine.