This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is the tenth thoracic vertebra and rib from an individual from Westness, Orkney with as yet an undiagnosed pathology.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Tenth thoracic vertebra

There is a large lytic lesion on the left side of the body that opens into a large underlying spherical cavity that encompasses approximately half of the body.  The lesion measures 16.9mm anteroposterior x 12.8mm superoinferior x 17.9mm deep.  The margins are rounded and the walls are smooth, but porotic with the loss of a normal internal trabecular pattern.  The bone surface inferior to the lesion is flattened and smooth.


Co-existing pathology

The superior and inferior surfaces have central linear depressions (Schmorl’s nodes).  The anterior margin of the superior surface has slight osteophytosis and a linear destructive lesion with pitting and porosity at its base.  The margins of the costal facets on the body are porotic/pitted.


Left rib 10

There is a large spherical space occupying lesion within the rib head, opening to the visceral surface.  The margins are sharp and the walls are smooth and thin, with perforations in the posterior wall.  The lesion measures c. 15mm mediolateral x c. 13mm superoinferior x c. 8.5mm deep.