Cavernous haemangiomas (cavemomas) are uncommon vascular malformations of the central nervous system (CNS), They occur in both sporadic and familial forms and may involve any site in the CNS. Spinal cavernomas are less common than intracerebral lesions, and examples in the spinal epidural space are rare. A case of a solitary sporadic spinal extradural cavernoma in a 41 year old male which presented as progressive lower limb numbness and weakness is reported. The literature regarding spinal cavernomas is reviewed and the symptomatology, diagnostic evaluation, pathology, management and prognosis of these lesions are discussed. (C) 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.