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Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
over 9 years ago
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Congenital Spinal Dislocation

Case Detail

Anatomy: Brain-Spine
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Developmental or Congenital
Created: over 10 years ago
Updated: over 10 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: MR
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15 month old male with spinal anomaly.

Case Images


Congenital Spinal Dislocation


MR – Sagittal T1 T2 and IR and axial T2 images of the lower spine show anterior dislocation of the sacrum relative to the lumbar spine. Note the tiny central syrinx, fatty filum terminale and segmentation anomalies.


Congenital vertebral dislocation is a rare congenital spinal malformation characterized by a translatory or rotatory vertebral displacement, or both, at a single level, that results in an abrupt angulation of the neural canal. The more caudal vertebra is dysplastic and appears at first glance to be posteriorly dislocated into the vertebral canal as a posterior hemivertebra, but is actually well aligned with the more caudal vertebral column. Unfortunately, the present classification of complex congenital vertebral anomalies is confusing, and CVD has been grouped together with other congenital vertebral malformations under the terms ‘segmental spinal dysgenesis’, ‘medial spinal aplasia’, and others. Congenital vertebral dislocation is a distinct entity likely the result of early embryonic ‘buckling’ – which likely occurs by the 6th embryonic week, prior to the period of axonal outgrowth and the beginning of vertebral chondrification.


Dias MS, Li V, Landi M, Schwend R, Grabb P. The embryogenesis of congenital vertebral dislocation: Early embryonic buckling? J Pediatr Neurosurg (1998); 29(6):281-289.

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