Primary lumbar hernia in an elderly woman: case report

  • S Ouma
  • P Mugabi
  • A Ocaya


Lumber hernia is a rare posterior abdominal wall defect with fewer than 300 cases reported in literature. It accounts for less than 1.5% of total hernia incidence. Herniation is mainly through the inferior lumber triangle (Petit’s hernia) or through the superior lumber triangle (Grynfeltt’s triangle); with both these anatomical boundaries accounting for 95% of lumber hernias. Lumber hernias are classified as either congenital (20%) or acquired (80%), and the typical presentation is a patient with a protruding bulge in the back with a slow growth. Our patient was a 70-year-old woman who presented at the surgical outpatient department with a swelling on the right flank for two years. She revealed no known cause of the swelling that was progressively increasing in size, with a dull pain. Physical examination and ultrasonography revealed a defect in the posterolateral abdominal wall. Surgical dissection revealed a large hernial sac, which contained retro peritoneal fat, protruding through a 3-4 centimetres defect in the transversalis fascia lining the floor of the superior lumbar triangle. The hernia sac was reduced and the defect closed. There was no recurrence four months post-operative. Lumber hernias are rare, but a good history and physical examination is important to rule out most of the differential diagnoses. Early surgical management is recommended but the surgical approach should be individualised.


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