Vertebral hemangioma is a slow-growing tumor which involves the vertebral body only. It is usually discovered incidentally on lateral radiographs of the spine and only rarely symptomatic. Compression of the spinal cord due to vertebral hemangioma is very rare. The authors report a patient who developed a progressive paraplegia and sensory change clinically resembling an intramedullary spinal cord tumor. Simple spine film gave us a hint that there was a vertebral hemangioma at T-5, but the clinical correlation was uncertain until spinal cord compression was demonstrated by MRI and the symptoms improved with operation. Selective angiography was normal. The histologic diagnosis was a cavernous hemangiona. As there was no associated spinal cord vascular malformation visualized during operation, her clinical presentation mimicking intramedullary spinal cord tumor was atypical one of compressive extramedullary mass. Following surgical excision, the patient improved dramatically and was discharged with only a residual hyperalgesia below the T-10 dermatome.