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Spinal cord compression is a neurosurgical emergency. Symptoms of this disorder are highlighted as back pain, ambulatory difficulties, and bladder/bowel incontinence. Diagnostic imaging is not indicated in many circumstances of nonspecific back pain; however, the addition of neurologic deficits in the setting of back pain justifies radiologic imaging. Various pathologies can cause constriction of the spinal cord due to the delicate nature of spinal cord anatomy. Etiologies may include trauma, neoplasms, and infections. In this report, we present an unusual case of a 31-year-old male who presented to the emergency department with a history of chronic back pain accompanied by neurological deficits, ataxia, and bladder dysfunction. Contrast-enhanced MRI imaging heightened the suspicion of a neoplastic etiology; however, neuropathology revealed a non-neoplastic nature with abnormal lymphohistiocytic infiltrate suspicious for Langerhans cell histiocytosis or infectious etiology. A second opinion was provided by Mayo Clinic Laboratories, resulting in the definitive conclusion that the mass was non-neoplastic and tested negative for SD1a and Langerhin, biomarkers used to diagnose Langerhans cell histiocytosis. This unusual non-neoplastic lesion exemplifies one of many diverse and multifaceted pathologies that can precipitate spinal cord compression. Additionally, these findings underscore the importance of considering both neoplastic and non-neoplastic causes in the differential diagnosis of spinal cord compression, thereby enhancing clinical vigilance and improving patient outcomes for underlying spinal conditions.



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neurosurgery, back pain, langerhans cell histiocytosis, non-neoplastic mass, case report, spinal cord compression