Cervical digit in a child: A case report

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A “digit-like” bone is a rare developmental anomaly that is usually seen in the pelvic or thoracic regions. Such an anomaly in the cervical spine is extremely rare and few cases have been reported. We present a patient with an anomalous bone posterior to a cervical vertebra. The patient was admitted to our hospital with a gradually growing hard neck mass and esthetic complaints. Physical examination, radiographs, reconstructed computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a digit-like bone posterior to the cervical spine. The patient was diagnosed with a “cervical digit.” Through a posterior midline approach, the anomalous bone was excised because of its gradually increasing size and esthetic complaints.


Intraoperatively, the bony mass was found to have a pseudoarticulation with the spinous process of C5 (the fifth cervical vertebra). The specimen consisted of normal bone and cartilage. The child returned to a normal life postoperatively with no symptoms. There was no recurrence at the 2-year follow-up.


A congenital cervical digit is a rare deformity. A detailed clinical workup and advanced imaging examinations are useful for diagnosing such conditions. Esthetic complaints contribute to surgical indications. This is the first cervical digit managed with surgical excision of the anomalous bone and had a favorable outcome.

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