Split Cord Malformations

  • Brandon G. RocqueEmail author


Split cord malformations (SCM) are a form of spinal dysraphism in which the spinal cord itself is split into two hemicords. In type 1 SCM, the two hemicords are contained within two separate dural sleeves, often separated by a bony or cartilaginous septum. In type 2 SCM, both hemicords are contained within the same dural sleeve. This chapter discusses the anatomy and classification of SCM, including a discussion of the cutaneous abnormalities associated with SCM and the other dysraphisms that may accompany SCM. In addition, there is a review of the theory of embryologic insult that leads to SCM formation. Finally, the chapter discusses the natural history, details of surgical treatment, and outcomes from surgical treatment. The natural history of SCM is thought to be unfavorable, with progressive neurological deficits. Surgical treatment strategies should focus on complete release of all tethering elements.


Split cord malformation Diastematomyelia Diplomyelia Hypertrichosis Tethered cord Accessory neurenteric canal 

Supplementary material

Video 12.1

This video shows the surgical treatment of a type 1 SCM. (From AANS Neurosurgeon [25]; with permission) (MP4 239633 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric NeurosurgeryChildren’s of AlabamaBirminghamUSA

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