Case Report

The Morel-Lavallée lesion in thoracolumbar spine trauma—two index cases

Michael J. Mulcahy, Jonathon R. Ball


The Morel-Lavallée lesion (MLL) is a closed degloving injury caused by traumatic separation of the subcutaneous tissue from the underlying fascia, without a break in the overlying skin. We present two cases that demonstrate a previously unrecognised association of the MLL with thoracolumbar spine fractures. The lesion is frequently missed, or its significance is overlooked, on initial evaluation. Awareness of this injury should allow tailored strategies to decrease the high risk of wound complications.

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