What could a cleft-like appearance of the thoracic vertebra in a newborn be?

Q. What could a cleft-like appearance of the thoracic vertebra in a newborn be?

Answered by
Dr. Sharoff Lokesh Mohan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 14, 2022

Hello doctor,

My daughter is one day old and on an X-ray, it is showing a cleft-like appearance on the T12 vertebra. The hospital is telling us to follow up with an orthopedic. My question is what can this mean now and in the future?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

The cleft can be just superficial or deep going up to the spinal cord.

If it is superficial, then it will not be of a major concern.

If its deep, then there can be tethering of the spinal cord or bifid cord which can lead to neurological disorders of the lower limbs as the child grows.

This can be seen very well on ultrasonography done by an experienced sonologist, which will give more information when compared to an X-ray. So the sonography needs to be done which is a safe and easy procedure.

Sonography of the entire spine is the next step.

Thank you doctor,

Is it a good sign that right now she is moving her legs a lot? Also, if it is deep, will surgery or anything of that sort be able to fix this?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Moving the legs now is fine which is irrelevant to the prognosis.

Yes, there are many malformations which can be cured with surgery but some like spinal cord involvement which can cause bladder problem is difficult to treat with surgery.

It is a whole spectrum of disorder which can take place so to know exactly what is the extent of involvement, a sonography has to be done after which the treatment can be exactly specified.

Without sonography, it is just too difficult to say anything.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
I have headache, dizziness and restricted neck movement. Please advice.

I read carefully your question and would explain that your symptoms could be related to tension-type headaches or a cervical spine disorder (a bulging disc or a wrong posture) ...   Read full

Why am I waking up automatically during midnight? Is this common in asthma?

For this reason, it is essential to do a pulmonary function test and a cervical spine X-ray study ...   Read full

Do people who have spina bifida develop fertility issues?

.. that you are inquiring about spina bifida causing fertility related problems in humans. The nerve damage in spina bifida that affects urinary and bowel functions may also affect sexual functioning. It has been found that most males and females with spi   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Spine Health Specialist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.