BACKGROUND : Traumatic spinal subdural hematoma is an extremely rare occurrence that requires urgent investigation and most often prompt intervention. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case related to a spinal manipulative therapy. METHODS : This report describes a case of traumatic lumbar subdural hematoma after a spinal manipulative therapy without any predisposing factor. A 23-year-old man was admitted to the emergency department for partial cauda equina syndrome after a spinal manipulation performed by a physiotherapist. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an acute spinal subdural hematoma at L2-L3 level with cauda equina compression. The patient underwent an emergency L2 laminectomy with evacuation of the hematoma. He recovered completely his neurologic functions after 1 week. CONCLUSIONS : Practitioners of spinal manipulations should be aware of spinal subdural hematoma as a possible complication. A rapid diagnosis with magnetic resonance imaging is mandatory, and emergency surgical decompression is usually the optimal treatment for spinal subdural hematomas with severe neurologic deficit.