Management of the Morel-Lavallée Lesion

Orthop Clin North Am. 2016 Jan;47(1):115-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2015.08.012.


Morel-Lavallée lesions are closed degloving injuries sustained during violent soft tissue shear that separate the subdermal fat from its strong underlying fascia. Lesions most often occur in the peritrochanteric region, and patients may have concomitant polytrauma. As a result, a hematoma develops that has a high rate of acute bacterial colonization and chronic recurrence. Conservative treatment outcomes are best for those managed acutely. However, diagnosis is often delayed or missed. Furthermore, there is no universally accepted treatment algorithm. Diagnosis and treatment depend on a surgeon's thorough understanding of the cause, pathophysiology, imaging characteristics, and treatment options of Morel-Lavallée lesions.

Keywords: Closed degloving injury; Hematoma; Morel Lavallée lesion; Sclerodesis; Soft tissue injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Compression Bandages
  • Debridement
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiple Trauma / therapy
  • Postoperative Care
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / surgery
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / therapy*
  • Therapeutics
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy*