Central nervous system neurenteric cysts (NCs) represent a rare entity thought to arise from failure of the separation of endodermal and neuroectodermal elements during week 3 of embryogenesis. They account for 0.7–1.3% of all spinal cord lesions and are typically intradural extramedullary lesions located near the cervicothoracic junction. Most NCs are associated with multisystem malformation disorders, making a solitary extramedullary NC a rare entity.
A 45-year-old man presented with progressive right lower-extremity weakness and an inability to walk. Cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated an approximately 1.6 × 1.1 × 2.7–cm, T2 hyperintense, nonenhancing, intradural, extramedullary cystic lesion at the level of C6–7 eccentric to the right with atrophy of the spinal cord. An anterior surgical approach was used for resection of the cyst in totality with C6–7 corpectomies and anterior plating and fixation from C5 to T1. Postoperatively at 1 month, the patient denied any significant neck or arm pain and demonstrated improving right lower-extremity strength, allowing some funcitonal independence.
A solitary, extramedullary cervical NC is a rare entity, with a posterior surgical approach for resection primarily described in the literature. The authors present anterior corpectomy and plating with fixation as a viable surgical approach for this rare pathology.