Posttraumatic sagittal osseous bar in the spinal canal of an adult: A case report

Reuven Gepstein, Yoram Folman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diastematomyelia is a congenital anomaly wherein the distal spinal canal is bisected by a longitudinally oriented septum made up of fibrous tissue, cartilage, or bone. The main lesion is expressed by characteristic gait disturbances and dysfunction of the anal and vesical sphincters resulting from damage to the cord or cauda equina. Symptoms almost invariably begin during childhood. By the time symptoms appear, the damage is largely irreversible. In rare instances, the neuropathic expression of diastematomyelia is delayed until adult life. Only a dozen such cases have been reported. Described herein is the case of a patient in whom the typical symptoms appeared at 28 years of age. Decompression laminectomy and resection of the septum relieved the symptoms completely and permanently. The pathogenesis of nerve damage in diastematomyelia is thought to be different in patients with adult-onset disease than in children. This could explain why surgical treatment has a better prognosis in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-147
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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