A dermal sinus is a congenital condition (meaning that it is present from birth) that refers to an opening along the spine, that has not closed up while the baby was developing. This can be found along the tail bone all the way up to the root of the nose. If visible a dermal sinus can look like a little dimple or opening, sometimes with hair growing out of it.

This is an extremely rare condition, occurring in around 1 in every 2500 births. Unfortunately, for many patients, this will cause neurological problems, such as bladder problems and pain in the legs or arms, and risk of infection, which is when the neurosurgeons come in.

To prevent your symptoms from worsening and reduce the risk of future infections, you will be referred to see a team that specialises in neurosurgery for the closure of your dermal sinus.

The first step of treating a dermal sinus is to have an MRI scan. This will help to give a clear diagnosis and also show the exact location of the abnormality. Depending on the severity of the dermal sinus, the treatment option that is offered may vary.

Your consultant will go through all of the risks & benefits of surgery and how to prepare for it. If you have any questions, they will be more than happy to talk through any of your questions and worries. If the infection is found, it will be treated with a course of antibiotics before the surgery.

After the surgery you may need to stay on your front for a few days while the wound begins to heal; our team will be there to support you every step of the way.

When returning home, our team will give you a list of instructions to follow to ensure that you have a quick and healthy return to normal activities.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.