Spinal Cord Herniation: Why Anterior Thoracic?

Background: Spinal cord herniation and thoracic anterior adhesion syndrome make up the two extremes of a rare condition; characterized by anterior dural adhesion or protrusion of the spinal cord through the arachnoideal and dural membrane into the extradural space, respectively.
Summary: We present the main features of the condition by our case series and forward a hypothesis for the consistent anterior, mid-thoracic localization. We surmise the role of an anterior pulling force by the Hofmann (meningo-vertebral) ligaments; acting when the physiologic thoracic kyphosis suddenly increases. The traction may tear the anterior dura; resulting in a dural defect; it allows the nipping/ protrusion of the spinal cord.
Key messages: Because the spinal cord compression syndrome caused by adhesion or herniation of the spinal cord may be surgically treatable; the recognition of the condition is essential. The pathogenetic traction effect of the Hofmann ligament in the affected level may have surgical an prognostic implications.


Anna Szűcs, Andras Horvath, Peter Varallyay, Eszter Turanyi, Eva Osztie, Geza Szabo, Attila Bago, Anita Kamondi and Peter Banczerowski

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