Lumbar artery pseudoaneurysm: a rare case of delayed onset incomplete cauda equina syndrome following transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion



Cauda equina syndrome following transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is very rare, and the causes implicated include inadequate decompression, retained disc fragments, epidural haematoma, gel foams, fat pad grafts, retained sponges, intradural masses and ischaemia of conus. This is a rare case report of pseudoaneurysm of dorsal branch of lumbar artery presenting with delayed onset incomplete cauda equina syndrome following TLIF.


To describe the very rare case of lumbar artery pseudoaneurysm causing delayed onset incomplete cauda equina syndrome following TLIF and its management with endovascular embolisation.


An 80-year-old female presented with incomplete cauda equina syndrome on 14th post-operative day following TLIF. On evaluation, computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed haematoma with heterogeneous signal intensity, which was pulsatile in ultrasonogram. Doppler and contrast-enhanced CT revealed pseudoaneurysm from posterior branch of left lumbar L4 artery, which was managed with endovascular embolisation.


After endovascular embolisation, the patient had immediate relief from radiating pain in left lower limb and regained full motor power and perianal sensation at the end of 3 weeks. Post-procedure ultrasonography done on the tenth day revealed complete resolution of the pseudoaneurysm.


This case presentation shows the necessity of diagnosing epidural haematomas due to vascular aneurysm in patients with post-operative radiculopathy and neurodeficit and the effectiveness of endovascular embolisation in treating such a threatening condition.

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Grants/Research support—Ganga Orthopaedic Education and Research Foundation (GOERF).

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Correspondence to Shanmuganathan Rajasekaran.

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Keerthivasan, P., Anupama, N.V., Kanna, R.M. et al. Lumbar artery pseudoaneurysm: a rare case of delayed onset incomplete cauda equina syndrome following transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Eur Spine J 29, 156–161 (2020).

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  • Post-operative radiculopathy
  • Lumbar artery pseudoaneurysm
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Endovascular embolisation