Twenty hernias of incarcerated fat at the inferior lumbar space were seen during a 23-year period. The usual complaint was a painful mass that caused a backache. The condition was more common in women and girls than in men (18 v two). The wider female pelvis creates a larger inferior lumbar space, which predisposes to the hernia. The hernia appears through a defect of the covering lumbodorsal fascia. Increased physical activity in young women seemed to be a causative factor. One patient had acute strangulation of incarcerated fat. Nineteen of the 20 hernias were treated with surgical excision and repair of the lumbodorsal fascial defect. Results of treatment were good. Though rare, hernias of the inferior lumbar space should be considered when back pain is present, particularly in a young, athletic woman.