In early 2021 a Brazilian boy was born a “tail” of 12 centimeters, fixed in the left paravertebral lumbosacral region. He and his mother were cared for by a team of Albert Sabin Children’s Hospital, in Fortaleza (Eastern Brazil). Doctors recently shared this clinical case in the Case reports from the Journal of Pediatric Surgery (Source 1).
An appendage on his left buttock
The child was born prematurely after 35 weeks of amenorrhea with no complications. From birth he showed jaundice and an unusual growth that had not been noticed before birth. This growth was attached over his left buttock and looked like a fibrous cord a dozen centimeters. At its end: a “sphere” four centimeters in diameter.
The case report states that her mother was in good health, did not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs, but smoked 10 cigarettes a day during her pregnancy. She suffered from a urinary tract infection during the first trimester of pregnancy, which was treated with antibiotics.
After making sure the growth wasn’t connected to the child’s nervous system, doctors surgically removed it and then sewed up the wound. Analysis shows it was consisting of skin, fatty tissue, nerves and blood vessels, without bone or cartilage. This fits well with the definition of a “True Tail”, aka a‘caudal appendage’.
“True Tail”: Only 40 cases identified in scientific literature
If the presence of such an appendix at birth may come as a surprise, there is nothing supernatural about it. That is’a rare birth defect : During embryonic development, a tail begins to form between the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. It usually disappears by the end of the eighth week and is eliminated by macrophages. But in some cases it persists until birth.
“Lumbosacral appendages or human tails are rare entities. They are usually small and located around the midline and lumbosacral region,” the doctors explain in their publication. The first cases were reported in the 19th centuryand only about forty have been documented in the scientific literature, they point out.
And to add: “Several reports in the literature indicate that spina bifida is the most common abnormality coexisting with the human tail, but an association with lipoma, myelomeningocele, meningocele, anchor cord syndrome, cardiac and anorectal malformations, a horseshoe kidney and syndactyly were also observed. In the present case, the child suffered from no related anomaly.