Butterfly vertebra - S1

Case contributed by Henry Knipe
Diagnosis certain


Low back pain.

Patient Data

Age: 80 years
Gender: Male

Lucent defect with sclerotic edges in the central portion of S1. Multilevel degenerative discs and facet joints. 


Five lumbar type vertebrae. Incidental S1 butterfly vertebra with a small paraspinous cleft. 


Multilevel degenerative discs and facet joints most significantly result in severe L2-3 and L3-4 spinal canal stenosis with proximal cauda equina redundancy. 

Case Discussion

This is an example of an S1 butterfly vertebra, a.k.a. sagittal cleft vertebra, with disc material filling a space left by notochord remnant and failed chondral center fusion.

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