Discovery of thoracic osteoma after elective lumbar spinal surgery: a case report

Julianne Forlizzi, Steven Mennona, Matthew McDonnell, Gino Chiappetta, Steven Rogalski


Osteoma is a benign, bone-producing tumor typically found within the skull. Rare case reports have been identified within the spine, and even fewer have been identified in the thoracolumbar region. When present, these benign tumors usually present during the second and third decade of life. A history of trauma is usually present and may trigger neurologic symptoms. The authors report a case of a thoracic osteoma discovered incidentally after lumbar spinal surgery where symptoms of the intra-canal osteoma were believed to be incited by the primary decompression. Pathology results from resection of the mass revealed it to be an osteoma, though the diagnosis was not suspected at the time of the operation. Recurrence of neurological deficit after excision of symptomatic osteoma is rare. In the follow-up period, our patient has remained asymptomatic. The pertinent literature regarding spinal osteomas is reviewed.