Butterfly vertebra hemivertebra block vertebra

What is a butterfly vertebra, a hemivertebra, and a block vertebra?

These are congenital vertebral anomalies. During development, the vertebral bodies initially form from two chondral centers, side by side, which eventually fuse to form a single vertebral body. If one chondral center fails to form, a hemivertebra results. If the chondral centers fail to fuse in the midline with residual hypoplasia remaining centrally, a butterfly vertebra results ( Figure 47-5, ). If there is nonsegmentation of these centers from the subjacent chondral centers above or below, a block vertebra may result ( Figure 47-5, ). These congenital anomalies can result in premature degenerative spinal disease or structural abnormalities such as congenital scoliosis and kyphosis. These anomalies should also raise the possibility of presence of other anomalies in the VACTERL complex (vertebral, anorectal, cardiac, tracheal, esophageal, rectal, and limb anomalies).


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