1946 Lifvendahl – Fascial fat


This is a letter to the EDITOR from JAMA published in 1946 by Dr Lifvendahl about the herniation of fascial fat (another name for back mice) and low back pain.

Richard A. Lifvendahl M.D. was from Chicago (University of Illinois College of Medicine and Swedish Covenant Hospital) and KNEW Dr Emil Ries personally.

Richard A. Lifvendahl refers to Herz’s article in the Journal July 28, 1945 (Herz, 1945) that just points to previous work references about the lumbar fat herniation from Copeman and Ackerman’s work (omitting that Dr Emil Reis published work in 1937).

Lifvendahl understands that Copeman and Ackerman (1944) did their studies in England under war circumstances, so they could not have access to certain previous published work. But he seems to criticize Herz from Cleveland because he did not quote Dr Ries’ work in Chicago (Ries, 1937).

Dr Lifvendahl explains Dr Ries’ results over 1,000 studied cases.

He also mentions that Philip Lewin, in his book entitled “Backache and Sciatic Neuritis”, page 617, published by Lea&Febiger in 1943, also mentions these episacroiliac lipomas (another name for back mice) and the work that they have done (referring to Dr Emil Ries and himself).

Personal note about the letter: Dr Lifvendhal was from Chicago and knew about Ries’ work, and seems to be a bit angry that Dr Herz from Cleveland somehow did not know about his work.


Lifvendahl RA. HERNIATION OF FASCIAL FAT AND LOW BACK PAIN. JAMA. 1946; 130(2): 107. doi: 10.1001/jama.1946.02870020051022

HERZ R. HERNIATION OF FASCIAL FAT AS A CAUSE OF LOW BACK PAIN WITH RELIEF BY SURGERY IN SIX CASES. JAMA. 1945; 128 (13): 921–925. doi: 10.1001/jama.1945.02860300011003