Lumbar spine duplication presenting as adolescent scoliosis. A case report

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1998 Feb 15;23(4):504-7. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199802150-00021.


Study design: A report of a case of lumbar spine duplication with the clinical appearance of adolescent scoliosis.

Objective: To increase knowledge about the pathogenesis and treatment of lumbar spinal duplication.

Summary of background data: Although there have been other reports of lumbar spine duplication of this magnitude, these malformations typically are associated with severe neurologic abnormalities (dicephalus, myelomeningocele) or gastrointestinal abnormalities (omphalocele, neurenteric fistulas). Several investigators have recommended early surgical intervention for this abnormality because of the perceived risk of progressive neurologic abnormality from tethering of the cord.

Methods: In a 13-year-old girl who had truncal asymmetry, lumbar spine duplication was noted on plain radiographs. A magnetic resonance study was obtained, and the patient was observed with conservative treatment for 3 years.

Results: Although extensive abnormalities were noted on the magnetic resonance images, which were related to duplication of spinal cord and vertebral bodies, the patient was neurologically intact and remained so until skeletal maturity.

Conclusions: This rare malformation typically has severe neurologic sequelae. Conservative management in the reported patient did not result in a progressive neurologic lesion at the time of skeletal maturity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Radiography
  • Scoliosis / diagnosis*
  • Spine / abnormalities*
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / pathology