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Doctor insights on: Complications From Tethered Spinal Cord Release

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What is tethered spinal cord syndrome?

What is tethered spinal cord syndrome?

Stretched spine: Tethered cord syndrome is where the spinal cord is stretched because it failed to grow along with the rest of the spine. The cord is attached to the sacrum but as we grow as a child this attachment lengthens along with our body growing taller. When this does not happen, the cord stretches and this causes pain, weakness, and bowel/bladder problems. If very symptomatic, it requires surgery. ...Read more

Dr. Scott Falci
32 Doctors shared insights

Tethered Cord (Definition)

A tethered spinal cord is when the spinal cord becomes attached to tissue around the vertebral column, most commonly at its base. Consequently, the spinal cord cannot move freely within the canal of the vertebral column. This may cause the spinal cord to stretch out as the vertebral column grows, leading to possible nerve damage, pain and other symptoms. In most cases, the condition becomes worse over ...Read more


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Can you tell me about tethered spinal cord?

Can you tell me about tethered spinal cord?

Tethered SC: Cause is tissue attachments which limit movements of the spinal cord within the spinal canal & cause stretching of the cord. Examples are Spina Bifida congenital anomaly, injury to the cord, or narrowing due to aging. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have tethered spinal cord?

Most often pain: Will be present, and this can include neurologic signs at that level, such as sensory changes or weakness as well. If it is suspected, and MRI should be ordered and it can show tethering normally. Hope that helps! ...Read more

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Can you tell me more about a partial tethered spinal cord?

Can you tell me more about a partial tethered spinal cord?

Tethered spinal cord: A tethered spinal cord is a situation where the spinal is being held by a band, a lipoma or a tight cilium below its normal location. A "partially" tethered cord means the cord is abnormally low and a peds neurologist or neurosurgeon can determine if this is clinically significant. ...Read more

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Hi doctors, was just wondering what is a tethered spinal cord?

Hi doctors, was just wondering what is a tethered spinal cord?

Tethered spinal cord: A tethered spinal cord is a situation where the spinal cord is abnormally low in the spinal canal. This can be caused by a fatty lesion called a lipoma, or a tight filium, a band of tissue that comes off the end of the spinal cord. ...Read more

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Is there a preferred way to handle weakness due to tethered spinal cord?

Is there a preferred way to handle weakness due to tethered spinal cord?

Tethered cord: The best treatment option for tethered cord is surgery to detether or release the tension on the cord. If you have already had surgery then improving weakness is best treated with physical therapy. ...Read more

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My four month old is having surgery for a tethered spinal cord. How long is the recovery?

My four month old is having surgery for a tethered spinal cord. How long is the recovery?

Ask your surgeon: This will best be answered by your pediatric neurosurgeon. Okay to take family with you for consult to help log answers and instructions about this procedure. Be well. ...Read more

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I hv spinal cord adult teratoma with tethered cord syndrome opetated before two months. Can I ride bicycle or motor bike. Pl suggest?

I hv spinal cord adult teratoma with tethered cord syndrome opetated before two months. Can I ride bicycle or motor bike. Pl suggest?

Tethered spinal cord: This question is best addressed to the surgeon that did the surgery. The normal rule is 3 months after the surgery, this to allow the bone and wound healing. The surgeon who did the surgery would be the best source of info. ...Read more

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Brother born spina bifida now 31 diagnosed with tethered spinal cord. Needs detethering how common/successful is it? Should he see dr in usa or sydney

Brother born spina bifida now 31 diagnosed with tethered spinal cord. Needs detethering how common/successful is it? Should he see dr in usa or sydney

Depends on symptoms: Neurosurgeons both in australia and the usa are quite capable of doing this. Practicality and logistics should dictate where it should be done. Success with detethering depends upon the symptoms that are present, and also the age at which symptoms present. Have a detailed discussion with the neurosurgeon, and perhaps get a second opinion. Choose one who does a fair number of these, at a sb center. ...Read more

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Could a prominent (possibly deformed) tailbone and neurological symptoms possibly indicate a tethered spinal cord in an adult?

Could a prominent (possibly deformed) tailbone and neurological symptoms possibly indicate a tethered spinal cord in an adult?

Nope.: Tethered cord would only cause symptoms during growth spurt when spine elongates but cord is "tethered" and thus stretched. It would have absolutely zero effect upon your coccyx. When you hear hooves, it's more likely horses not zebras. Get an MRI if neuro problems, and you will likely find nerve pressure from disc or bone spurs. These are treatable nonsurgically in most cases. ...Read more

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Is a ten year old, who was born with a tethered spinal cord and had surgery at 6 months old, able to ride horses at a trot or faster?

Is a ten year old, who was born with a tethered spinal cord and had surgery at 6 months old, able to ride horses at a trot or faster?

Both, if he loves it: After a successful surgery of tethered spine, which I am assuming has been the case with regular follow ups with his surgeon for a few years, there is little risk of tethering again from daily or moderately strenuous sport activities including horse riding. Let him ride the way he loves it! ...Read more

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I am 17 year old with a 7 mm synovial cyst at right facets atl4-l5 outside the spinal canal. My baby brother had tethered cord /syringomyelia. Should I be concerned?

I am 17 year old with a 7 mm synovial cyst at right facets atl4-l5 outside the spinal canal. My baby brother had tethered cord /syringomyelia. Should I be concerned?

Likely unrelated: While it could be possible that there is a slight increase of spinal problems in your family over the general population a synovial cyst is not related to a tethered cord. As long as it is not causing compression of the nerve roots a synovial cyst can very well be watched but I would discuss this with your doctor. ...Read more

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What are the possible symptoms or complications associated with a tethered cord?

What are the possible symptoms or complications associated with a tethered cord?

Spinal cord problems: The syndrome results from a stretching of the spinal cord which may be clinically manifest by pain, weakness, sensory changes, gait disturbance, or bowel and bladder dysfunction. The symptoms will often present after growth of the patient which may result in further stretching of the spinal cord. Sometimes repetetive movements may also trigger the symptoms. ...Read more

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My son suffers from chronic back and testicular pain that comes and goes. He had tethered cord release & has syringomyelia t7-t9. Ideas for pain mngmt?

My son suffers from chronic back and testicular pain that comes and goes. He had tethered cord release & has syringomyelia t7-t9. Ideas for pain mngmt?

See osteopathic dr: It never hurts to get a second opinion with an osteopathic physician, who commonly sees spinal conditions requiring pain management, especially if it involves chronic back pain, and history of syringomelia. Since you didn't state the age of your son, the management will be different depending on the age of the child, or teenager. Do keep that in mind. ...Read more

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What are potential complications of spinal cord trauma?

What are potential complications of spinal cord trauma?

Many: In the acute period: further loss of cord function, pneumonia, blood clots, pressure sores, urinary tract infections, acute depression. Later on: urinary tract infection, pressure sores, autonomic dysreflexia (severe high blood pressure), fractures and deformity of the paralyzed limbs, osteoporosis, depression. ...Read more

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What are common complications of spinal cord abscess?

What are common complications of spinal cord abscess?

Grim: Paralysis, transient or permanent, full or partial, sepsis, osteomyelitis to name a few. ...Read more

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Does inflammation of the spinal cord lead to any major symptoms or complications?

Does inflammation of the spinal cord lead to any major symptoms or complications?

Yes: It can even lead to death. It can lead to paralysis, weakness, numbness and tingling, and many other problems.
Sometimes full recovery is possible. ...Read more

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Can you tell me what kind of bowel complications can arise after a spinal cord injury?

Can you tell me what kind of bowel complications can arise after a spinal cord injury?

Neurogenic Bowel: Depends on the level of injury. Injury above the sacral segments causes: upper motor neuron bowel. This can lead to prolonged transit times in the colon, and severe constipation with accidents and incomplete emptying. Injury at/below this level ex. Conus or cauda equina injury can cause loss of rectal tone and frequent accidents. A bowel routine directed by a sci doc or nurse can help manage this. ...Read more

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Scrotal trauma led 2 groin pain since 4 mnths. Pain mangmnt. Doc says pulled genitofmoral nerve, asks 2 do nerve root block at spinal cord. Complications?

Scrotal trauma led 2 groin pain since 4 mnths. Pain mangmnt. Doc says pulled genitofmoral nerve, asks 2 do nerve root block at spinal cord. Complications?

Groin pain: Nerve root block is a good choice to stop the pain pattern. However, just trauma induced nerve pull is hard to explain your long time symptoms. You have not told what medication (s) you are taking. If you are taking short acting narcotics, such as lortab, oxycodon for prolonged time, more than 1 week, you may become sensitive to pain sensation, nor narcotic induced pain. Acupuncture might help. ...Read more

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Felt a "pop" by spinal cord & air release w/severe pain. Er diagnosis lung cyst rupture. I have lam (lymphangioleiomyomatosis). How long to heal? So painful!

LAM: Spontaneous pneumothoraces are not uncommon in patients with lam. Unfortunately, it is a recurrent problem. The time to heal will depend on the severity or the size of the pneumothorax which will determine whether a chest tube is needed or not. ...Read more

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What is a tethered cord and is it serious?

What is a tethered cord and is it serious?

Yes: A tethered cord happens when the end of the spinal cord (the filum terminale) is attached to the sacrum. As growth occurs, this puts tension on the spinal cord. ...Read more

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I have a sacral dimple. Does this mean I have a tethered cord?

Rarely associated: Most sacral dimples are not symptomatic and do not require evaluation or treatment. Only rarely are sacral dimples associated with a tethered cord. If you have symptoms such as feeling weak or numb in legs, if there are issues with bladder or bowel control, you should have it evaluated - usu including MRI or CT. Size of dimple, hair association, and skin discoloration also offer some hints. ...Read more

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Could a person have a tethered cord and not have spina bifida?

Yes: There are several potential causes of tethered cord and many of them have nothing to do with spina bifida. It can be sorted out with a good neurologic exam and perhaps an MRI of the lumbar spine. Tethered cord is not common however, and there are many much more common reasons to have pain or weakness in the legs (if that is what you are experiencing). Good luck. ...Read more

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Is occult tethered cord a common condition?

Is occult tethered cord a common condition?

Quite rare: The spinal cord gradually moves up the spinal canal with growth. If the cord (filum terminale) that connects it to the bottom of the spine is too tight, traction develops with growth. Mri can show thick cord and low lying cord that may need surgery to release. Incontinence and difficulty in use of the legs may develop to indicate need for surgery. If no symptoms, no need to treat. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: Tethered cord?

What is the definition or description of: Tethered cord?

Tethered spinal cold: A tethered spinal cord is when the spinal cord becomes attached to tissue around the vertebral column, most commonly at its base. Consequently, the spinal cord cannot move freely within the canal of the vertebral column. This may cause the spinal cord to stretch out as the vertebral column grows, leading to possible nerve damage, pain and other symptoms. In most cases, the condition becomes worse over time, requiring surgical correction. ...Read more

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What is Tethered Cord Syndrome?

What is Tethered Cord Syndrome?

Spinal cord low: In fetal life, the spinal cord segments line up with the vertebral segments. As a child grows, the end of the cord rises. In a tethered cord, it is fixed in place and cannot rise. As a result the cord is put on stretch. Consequences include problems with bladder and bowel function when your would have expected toilet training would be completed. ...Read more

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What are the criteria for tethered cord syndrome?

What are the criteria for tethered cord syndrome?

Tethered Spinal Cord: Syndrome refers to ~ 6 congenital spinal cord anomalies as well as trauma to or surgery of the spinal cord. Neurological & musculoskeletal signs & symptoms, therefore, vary with age & developmental stage. An older child or adult can manifest bladder & bowel incontinence, weakness, numbness, pain &, in kids, progressive deformities of the legs & feet, difficulty standing or walking & back pain. ...Read more

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Hi doctors, can you tell me what is tethered cord in children?

Hi doctors, can you tell me what is tethered cord in children?

Tethered cord: Tethered cord is a term used to described the spinal cord being "tethered" a situation where it is too low in the lumbar region. Normally the cord ends at what we call the t12-l1 level, anything below the L2 is considered tethered meaning too low. The decision to surgical treat this, or untreated the cord is based on the child's neurological symptoms. ...Read more