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SUM Removes Bony Tail

Bhubaneswar: Neurosurgeons at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, SOA’s faculty of medicine here, have come across a rare human tail which is said to be the first bony tail in thoracic region to be reported in the world.

The new born baby had a spinal cord anomaly with a tail at upper back and a Dermal Sinus Pit in the Coccygeal area and this is the only known case of a bony human tail in thoracic area, Prof. (Dr.) Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, eminent neurosurgeon and Vice-Chancellor of SOA, told newspersons on Thursday.

Human tail is a rare congenital condition and 195 such cases have been reported in the world so far but true bony human tail is exceedingly rare and 26 cases have been reported and all at the lower end of spine in Coccygeal region, he said adding this one, however, was located in the thoracic area.

Prof. (Dr.) Mahapatra, who along with neurosurgeon Dr. Rama Chandra Deo, conducted the surgery to remove the tail, said it was a unique case of true thoracic bony human tail in a new born baby.

The baby successfully underwent three surgeries in one sitting which was conducted on November 25 last and had been doing well. It is a rare case and needs to be reported to increase public awareness. Neurosurgeon Dr. Soubhagya Panigrahi was also present at the press conference.

Most people are not born with a tail because the structure disappears or absorbs into the body during fetal development and forms the vestigial tail bone or Coccyx, he said.