Chinese Baby Born With A Tail Due To Rare Birth Defect

An unusual characteristic of a newborn in China grabbed headlines: it had a tail that extended from its back and was four inches in length. Medical professionals were perplexed by the rarity of the feature, which struck them as a startling medical abnormality. Only a short time after the infant was born, Dr. Li, who is the deputy chief physician of Paediatric Neurosurgery at Hangzhou Children's Hospital, discovered this peculiar issue. 

Through the use of social media, Dr. Li published a video that demonstrated the amazing appendage that was developing from the rear of the newborn. Initially, partial degeneration was thought to be the cause; however, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) eventually determined that the tethered cord was the actual cause.

Understanding the Condition of Tethered Spinal Cord

A disease known as tethered spinal cord was determined to be the cause of the soft, boneless protrusion that measured roughly 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) in length. This illness manifests itself from the aberrant attachment of the spinal cord to the tissues that surround it, which often takes place at the base of the spine. In a typical situation, the spinal cord is able to travel freely within the spinal canal, which enables it to perform its functions and movements normally. On the other hand, when the spinal cord is tethered, its movement is restricted, which may result in a variety of neurological disorders.

This one-of-a-kind situation immediately garnered popularity on Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok. Within a few days after its publication on March 11, the video had accumulated more than 34,000 likes and more than 145,000 shares.

To Remove or Not to Remove: A Conundrum in Surgical Procedures

In spite of the fact that the mother had requested that the physicians remove her son's tail using surgical means, the surgeons ultimately chose against intervening, as reported by the Mirror. In light of the fact that the tail was closely connected to the neurological system of the infant, they came to the conclusion that removing it could result in harm that could not be reversed.

A similar decision was made in Guyana, South America, in the previous year, when doctors successfully removed a tail from a newborn who was only 10 days old. This decision is strikingly comparable to that decision. In that particular instance, the baby boy was born with an aberrant spine, which led to the existence of a 'tail,' which is referred to as a caudal appendage in the scientific community.

Researchers believe that the tailbone, also known as the coccyx, is a relic from our evolutionary history, and that it is no longer performing the function for which it was originally designed. As a result, it acts as a reminder of our ancestral tails, which were previously an essential component in the process of maintaining balance during activities such as climbing trees.

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