Spinal Neurofibroma Masquerading as a Herniated Disc : A case report

Tariq Lamki, Mario Ammirati


We present the only case in English medical literature of a spinal neurofibroma misdiagnosed as a herniated disc using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This case presented with typical symptoms and radiological findings of a herniated disc. Intraoperatively, an abnormality was noted at the S1 nerve root sleeve. Further exploration revealed a spinal neurofibroma which was completely resected, resulting in an improvement in the patient’s symptoms. Currently, there is heavy reliance on MRI as a highly sensitive and specific tool used in the diagnosis of herniated lumbar discs. Although there have been occasional reports of misdiagnoses using MRI, there are no reported cases of a spinal neurofibroma being misdiagnosed as a herniated lumbar disc. Despite great advances in radiological diagnostic imaging, surgical surprises do still occur. Ultimately, instinct is still essential in intraoperative surgical decisions.


Herniated disc; Misdiagnosis; MRI scan; Neurofibroma; Case report; USA.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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