Diastematomyelia is a congenital anomaly of the neural axis arising as a result of the incomplete resolution of the dorsal intestinal phase of embryologic development. The persistence of the dorsal fistula is felt to result in splitting and fixation of the spinal cord. The impalement of the spinal cord by a vestigial osseous, fibrocartilage, or connective tissue septum can prevent its normal cephalad migration during childhood growth and is thought to be the major factor responsible for the progressive neurologic disturbances which can develop.25 In order to prevent the serious sequelae of this disease, all physicians must be familiar with the disease entity. The pediatrician should be particularly alert to the clinical findings so that early roentgenologic study can be performed, since the diagnosis of diastematomyelia is primarily a roentgenologic one.
In 1950, Neuhauser, Wittenborg, and Dehlinger20 revived interest in the diagnosis when they reported that, for the