Is plastic surgery an option to get relief from back mice?

Back mice is a colloquial term that has been popularized to named the painful palpable fibro-fatty nodules of the sacroiliac area (The term was coined by Peter Curtis in 1993, In the search of back mouse).

An overlooked medical condition and the wrong dogma

Since back mice is a condition that is still overlooked by mainstream medical practitioners. The first diagnostic orientattion for these lumps is ‘lipoma’ and the dogma is that “Lipomas do not hurt”. But back mice are not lipomas. As the back mice go misdiagnosed, the worried patients look for the answers on the internet as the pain is still there.

The role of the social media

These days internet has become a shelter for patients to search for information and share their symptoms and experiences to help each other. Gladly, the patients of back mice can find the information on:

Apart from the literature, youtube also has some videos providing information on the topic of back mice. The most watched video (with more than 254 thousands views) is “Lumps in Low Back, Top of Hip” where Chiropractor Hilma Volk has provided a comprehensive information in a very simple manner for general audience. Tnere are some some facebook pages where people are discusing their journey through the pain of back mice.

Are the plastic surgeons resolving low back pain?

After my research of reading through these social media forums for back mice, I found that lot of patients are posting stories of their journey through the pain and in some cases ultimately overcoming the pain through surgery performed by plastic surgeons. 

plastic surgery back mice

So, after all the social media stories and the medical research available the question still remains open, “Is surgery the ultimate solution to this condition?” Well, until the mainstream medicine fully understands the cause of these painful fatty lumps and finds a less invasive way to cure these, I think we would have to resort to the plastic surgeons for the severe cases.

10 Replies to “Is plastic surgery an option to get relief from back mice?”

  1. 1. If pressing on it does not hurt, is it still a back mouse? The whole area hurts for weeks after weightlifting.
    2. Is there a non-surgical way to remove or minimize the bump (dry needling, injection, puncturing)?
    3. Can it cause pain in the erector?

    1. Dear Malcolm,

      Thanks for your questions.

      1. If pressing on it does not hurt, is it still a back mouse? Yes. “Back mouse” it is just a term to name the deep fibro-fatty lumps that can be felt in the sacroiliac area. Most of the times they are not painful while pressing on them. Whereas, sometimes, these nodules can be very painful in certain patients (that is what we are currently studying).
      2. Is there a non-surgical way to remove or minimize the bump (dry needling, injection, puncturing)? Yes. Dry needling, anesthetic injection, and other types of puncturing the nodule have been report as being effective methods for pain relief in some patients.
      3. Can it cause pain in the erector? Yes. It is said that can cause associated muscle spasm in the erector.

      I hope I could help you.


        1. Hello Malcom,
          As far as I know these treatments have been reported as being effective for managing the pain in a short or long basis, lumps usually persist, but pain goes away. In most people the lumps persist for long time, and pain seem to come and go.


  2. Greeings Marta,

    After further research, it appears my lump begins at the Inferior Iliac Spine, instead of the oft mentioned Superior. Also, it is diagonal instead of transverse, and more linear than oval. Does this still sound like an episacral lipoma?

    I saw a dermatologist today and mentioned the site. Although it felt soft to me, the doctor said it felt harder than it should and she was not sure it was a lipoma, and ordered an MRI, I guess to rule out other back pain sources. If it’s clear, the next step I’ll ask for is an ultrasound.

    1. Dear Malcom,

      The gluteal area around the iliac spine, is also a place were the back mice could be found. They could be called ‘gluteal mice’. But not EPISACRAL lipoma. Ultrasound is a better examination method for the time being for this fibro-fatty lumps.


  3. Sorry Marta last question. Do you know if the people who had it successfully removed had it simply excised, or was there also a “defect” in the fascia that needed to be repaired. Of the two videos I saw on YouTube it was a simple excision. But how would a dermatologist/plastic surgeon know, and be qualified to fix a “hernia”? Are there two different variants of back mice, one that simply begins on top of the fascia, and one that punctured through it?

    1. Dear Malcom,

      According to the literature, the surgeons not always found a fascial defect. Sometimes the surgeons described a clear fascia defect in the thoracolumbar fascia that they repaired, but other times that was not found, nevertheless the pain was relief. So probably, as you mention, it may be “different variants of back mice”.

      What seemed to me a common finding is that many surgeons described that the painful lumpy fibro-fatty tissue appeared edematous and under tension: “the lumps of fat popped out as soon as excision was performed as a sign of confined tension”. They commonly described that the edema was confined under a thin fibrous capsule.

      A dermatologist/plastic surgeon could be perfectly qualified to fix that. Of course, we first need to better understand this overlooked condition. And specially the local irritated peripheric nerves that cause the pain, the superior cluneal nerves.


  4. Marta, is it possible for it to not be in encapsulated at all? Just a nonuniform, jagged piece of fat with no shape whatsoever?

    1. Hello,

      According to the studies, sometimes the back mice can be felt just like an LOCALIZED INDURATION of the fibrous-fatty tissue. So, yes!.


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