After multiple hospital admissions and an inpatient rehabilitation stay, a 68-year-old woman was transferred to our rehabilitation facility with a paraparesis of unknown etiology. Previous studies included four CT scans and three MRIs which did not demonstrate the lesion. A myelogram was noncharacteristic. The correct diagnosis, confirmed by selective angiography, was ultimately contingent upon recognition of the clinical features and natural history of dural spinal cord arteriovenous malformations (SCAVM). The unusual combination of this multitude of nondiagnostic imaging studies in the uncommon dural SCAVM served to delay diagnosis and treatment. Such delay may have great functional consequences. This report illustrates the importance of suspecting SCAVM and recognizing its features. Emphasis is placed on the physiatrist's role in assuring proper diagnosis to expedite a timely treatment and to obtain the best functional outcome. A brief review of the classification, clinical features, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and prognosis of SCAVM is presented.