International Journal of Academic Medicine

: 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 202--203

A human tail over the scapular region

Ganesh Singh Dharmshaktu1, Tanuja Pangtey2,  
1 Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Pathology, Government Medical College, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Ganesh Singh Dharmshaktu
Department of Orthopaedics, Government Medical College, Haldwani - 263 139, Uttarakhand


Cutaneous appendages are uncommon anomalies reported as sporadic reports or small series in literature. Most of them resemble tail-like structure which ar arise in the midline and are associated with an underlying neuroanatomical anomaly in most instances. The presence of human tail-like structure over the scapular region is a rare event and has not been reported to the best knowledge of the authors. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Medical knowledge, Patient care.

How to cite this article:
Dharmshaktu GS, Pangtey T. A human tail over the scapular region.Int J Acad Med 2017;3:202-203

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Dharmshaktu GS, Pangtey T. A human tail over the scapular region. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Jan 23 ];3:202-203
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Human tail is an enigmatic clinical entity that may present itself as pseudo-tail or a true tail in accordance with its association with or without underlying neurological condition respectively. Most of the cases described in literature are located in lower back region as lumbar, lumbosacral, sacral or sacro-coccygeal structures. The examples of off the midline location of these tail is rarer and curious presentation.

 Case Report

A newborn was referred to us with bilateral congenital clubfeet and a tail-like structure over the right scapular region. The male newborn was the first child of otherwise normal parents and born through full-term normal delivery. There was no history of any complication during pregnancy and perinatal period. No relevant family history was present along with no radiation exposure or substance abuse. The child was healthy and was on exclusive breastfeeding. The tail, about 3 cm in length, was attached to the upper right corner of the scapular region and appeared to consist of chiefly fibrofatty tissue on palpation [Figure 1]. Chest radiograph showed the presence of both scapulae and no significant bony anomaly. As the structure was not midline and clinically not related to spinal structures, magnetic resonance imaging of the spine was not advised.{Figure 1}


Human tail or dorsal cutaneous appendage is a rare anomaly and described either as true vestigial or pseudotail in literature.[1] A feature of embryonic development, fetal tail, remains as remnant in the form of coccyx and persistence of it denotes distal nonvertebrate remnant.[2] True tails contain muscle fibers, nerves, vessels, and sometimes exhibit movement and are mostly benign appendageal prolongations whereas pseudotails are associated with underlying spinal anomalies.[3] Most commonly, they are reported in male children, over lower spinal or coccygeal region and associated with various neurodevelopmental anomalies.[4],[5] Thus, surgical excision warrants careful exclusion of underlying associated neuroanatomical malformation. The tails are mostly present over lumbar, lumbosacral, or coccygeal regions and their presence in areas other than these or the midline is exceptional [Table 1]. The presence of other congenital anomalies such as cleft palate, clubfoot, and syndactyly requires appropriate management. The presence of a skin tail over the scapular region is a very rare occurrence. The parents, however, wished to keep the tail intact as considered sacred in their religious belief. The clubfeet were satisfactorily managed by corrective serial casting.{Table 1}

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.[15]


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