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Doctor insights on: Spina Bifida Tethered Cord

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

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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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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Why is there squishy puffiness at the base of my spina bifida child's spine? He had a tethered cord surgery 4 years ago and it's around the scar.

Difficult to say.: It's hard to say without examining him. It could be anything from keloid to infection; please have his doctor see him this week. ...Read more

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I'm 37 years old have spina bifida occulta which has never really caused much grief except for kidney failure now have numbpatch on leg, tethered cord?

Not likely: A tethered cord may be a problem during periods of rapid growth during childhood. As an adult, it is very unlikely to start causing a problem. Minor numbness is common in normal persons and may be a trapped or pinched nerve. Tight clothing may be a cause or pelvic problems including inflammation of kidney or uterus or ovaries, etc. Discuss this with your doctor. May need pelvic ultrasound. ...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

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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Do you deal with spina bifida?

Yes: Yes, but rarely. This condition is not common and as a family physician, i see only what comes my way. Spina bifida is usually approached in a team concept, usualy dealing with a primary care doctor (pediatrician, family physician or internest) along with physical therapist, neurologists, neuro-surgeons, physiatrist (physical medicine specialists) and a host of others. There are many issues. ...Read more

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Can you tell me what spina bifida means?

Split spine.: Spina bifida is a generic term used to describe congenital malformations of the spine (typically lower spine). It can be mild to very severe and be associated with a variety of conditions. ...Read more

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What can you tell me about spina bifida?

Spina bifida: Spina bifida is a very generic term that covers a lot of disorders of the spine that occur at birth. These can range from defects in the spinal bone to loss of the muscle and skin covering leading to herniation of the spinal cord and roots. There are a wide variety of causes known. ...Read more

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How can spina bifida impact someone's life?

To what degree?: If you are talking about spina bifida occulta, there will be no impact. If you are talking about cases with neurologic symptoms, it depends on whether lower nerve roots (sacral) are involved or if spinal cord is involved. People with spinal cord lesions are more susceptible to life-altering events than are those without. ...Read more

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How can occult spina bifida impact a persons life?

How can occult spina bifida impact a persons life?

No impact: Spina bifida occulta is manifested by a single defect: failure of the two laminae of a vertebra to achieve bony union with each other. Often times the spinous process is associated with one lamina. Rarely is the spinous process completely absent. The vertebra has normal strength, normal associated joints, ligaments, qnd disks plus no nerve root herniation or compression. Occult = symptom-free. ...Read more

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Can you tell me any thing about occult spina bifida?

Spina bifida: "occult" is a term used when the finding of spina bifida is only seen on an x-ray and it is a lack of development of a bone called the lamina in the lower lumbar spine that does not fully develop. In most cases there are usually no clinical problems associated with this x-ray finding. ...Read more

Dr. Edward Smith
219 doctors shared insights

Spina Bifida (Definition)

A birth defect involving incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but a risk factor appears to be low levels of folic acid in a woman's body before ...Read more