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Cervico-thoracic Morel-Lavallée lesion
  1. Andrew James Hughes,
  2. Vinay Mathew Joseph,
  3. Kunal Roy and
  4. Laura Lougher
  1. Trauma and Orthopaedics, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Abercynon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew James Hughes; drandrewjhughes{at}


Morel-Lavallée lesions (MLLs) result from high-energy trauma causing separation of subcutaneous tissue from the underlying tissue, most commonly in the gluteal region or thigh.

We report the case of a woman in her 40s with a fluctuant collection of the cervico-thoracic region following trauma. Further imaging identified an MLL. An orthoplastic approach resulted in non-operative management with a spinal brace. Three months from initial injury, the lesion completely resolved. She was symptom free at final follow-up and discharged.

We present the only recorded case of MLL developing in the cervico-thoracic region. Management posed difficultly as no literature currently exists. We demonstrated conservative management for cervico-thoracic MLL can be effective.

We have described the first documented case of cervico-thoracic MLL. MLL is not exclusive to pelvic injuries and can develop in the cervico-thoracic region. We have shown conservative management is a viable treatment of atypical MLL.

  • Orthopaedic and trauma surgery
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Radiology

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  • Contributors The following authors were responsible for drafting of the text, sourcing and editing of clinical images, investigation of the results, drawing original diagrams and algorithms and critical revision for important intellectual content: AJH and VMJ. The following authors gave final approval of the manuscript: AJH, VMJ, KR and LL.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.