Congenital vertebral dislocation (CVD) 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. Moreover, a putative embryonic mechanism has never been proposed for CVD. Based upon our experience with 6 children and a critical review of the literature, we identify CVD as a distinct entity having characteristic anatomical features. We propose a novel putative embryonic mechanism - early embryonic 'buckling' - which likely occurs by the 6th embryonic week, prior to the period of axonal outgrowth and the beginning of vertebral chondrification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology