Post-traumatic recto-spinal fistula Academic Article uri icon


  • Acquired recto-spinal fistula has been described elsewhere as a rare complication of colorectal malignancy and Crohn's enterocolitis. We treated a young man who developed a recto-spinal fistula as a result of a high fall injury. The patient presented with meningeal signs, sepsis and perianal laceration. Computerized axial tomography revealed air in the supersellar cistern. Gastrografin enema showed that contrast material was leaking from the rectum into the spinal canal. Surgical management included a diverting sigmoid colostomy, sacral bone curettage and wide presacral drainage. To the best of our knowledge, rectospinal fistula of traumatic origin has not been previously reported in the English literature.

publication date

  • February 1, 2000