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An Indian teenager born with a protuberant “tail” on his lower back has undergone a successful operation to have it removed.
The 18-year-old boy had been experiencing severe pain from the outgrowth prompting his parents to take him to a hospital. His mom and dad had initially believed that the tail was a good luck charm before his complaints of pain began.
Since the 18-cm tail involved a part of the spinal cord, the operation was done by a neurosurgeon, Daily Mail reported.
Dr. Pramod Giri, the neurosurgeon who performed the procedure, said that the defect did have psychological effects for the boy growing up.
“The boy was also suffering from an extreme psychological issue because the tail was growing so he had to always adjust the tail in his clothes when sitting,” he said.
He also reportedly began to feel discomfort and difficulty sleeping or sitting due to excruciating back aches. The boy’s parents admitted that they kept their son’s tail unknown to others to keep him from getting mocked.
Aside from the recent discomfort, the teenager appeared to be healthy and did not experience prior ill effects from the appendage.
Every human fetus developing in the mother’s womb initially has a tail that eventually shrinks as the baby develops, forming a part of the spine. In rare cases, a condition called spina bifida develops, in which the canals of the spinal cord do not entire close before birth. There have only been 23 reported cases of similar condition so far.
Made up of connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves, such protrusions from the tailbone can result in loss of function in the legs, according to Times of India.