What causes tethered spinal cord in infants?

In many cases, children are born with a tethered cord because of a problem during the development of the spine. Tethered spinal cord can also occur after birth due to damage to the spine or from scar tissue after surgery.

What is a tethered spinal cord in infants?

Tethered Cord (TC) is a disorder in which the spinal cord is “stuck” to a structure within the spine such as dura, scar tissue from a previous operation, a bony spicule or even a tumor.

Does a tethered spinal cord always require surgery?

As the body grows, however, the spinal cord then becomes stretched and damaged by the abdominal attachment. This condition is called a tethered spinal cord. If left untreated, your child may suffer nerve damage as he or she grows. The condition can be treated with surgery to prevent future nerve damage.

Can tethered cord be corrected?

Anomalies connected to the caudal end of the spinal cord (true tethered cord syndrome) can be surgically repaired and result in excellent outcome from untethering. Some others who present with aforementioned complete paraplegia have no neurological benefit from the repair surgery.

What are signs of tethered cord?

Symptoms of Tethered Spinal Cord

  • Back pain or shooting pain in the legs.
  • Weakness, numbness or problems with muscle function in the legs.
  • Tremors or spasms in the leg muscles.
  • Changes in the way the feet look, like higher arches or curled toes.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control that gets worse.

Can babies with tethered cord walk?

You could see a weak foot or foot deformity, delayed walking, bowel issues or back pain in older kids. Bladder dysfunction, in particular, is common. Those all might indicate there’s a tethered cord,” Wetjen says. Children hit developmental milestones as they grow, whether it’s learning to walk or potty training.

Is a tethered spinal cord serious?

In most cases, the condition becomes worse over time. Tethered spinal cord is common in children with spina bifida, but it also occurs in children who don’t have this condition. The good news is that tethered spinal cord is a very treatable condition, especially when diagnosed and treated early.

How do I know if my baby cord is tethered?

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Tethered Cord?

  1. Back pain, which worsens with activity and improves with rest.
  2. Bowel and bladder problems, such as incontinence.
  3. Changes in leg strength.
  4. Difficulty walking.
  5. Fatty tumor or deep dimple on the lower back.
  6. Hairy patch on the lower back.
  7. Leg deformities.

Is a tethered cord spina bifida?

Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurologic disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column. These attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord. This syndrome is closely associated with spina bifida.

Can tethered cord cause paralysis?

In milder cases, this pull on the spinal cord is minimal and typically does not lead to damage. That being said, patients with more severe cases may exhibit the symptoms of a spinal cord injury, such as lower body paralysis or a loss of sensation.

Is tethered cord rare?

Tethered cord syndrome is a rare neurological condition. The severity of the condition and the associated signs and symptoms vary from person to person. In some cases, symptoms may be present at birth ( congenital ), while others may not experience symptoms until later in adulthood.

What tethered cord feels like?

In adults, symptoms of tethered cord often develop slowly, but they can become quite severe. Symptoms may include back pain that radiates to the legs, hips, and the genital or rectal areas. The legs may feel numb or weak, and may lose muscle. Bladder and bowel control may be difficult.

Can trauma affect a tethered spinal cord syndrome?

Trauma to the spine results in a band of scar formation attached to the spinal cord and can cause tethered cord syndrome. However, some researchers believe that trauma alone is not enough to cause the disorder. They propose that tethering and abnormal tension were already present before the trauma, which worsened the condition.

Is tethered spinal cord syndrome hereditary?

Some researchers have speculated that some cases of tethered cord syndrome that occur due to anomalies that can cause stretching of the spinal cord may have a genetic basis or that some individuals are genetically predisposed to developing the disorder in these specific cases.

What is adult tethered cord syndrome?

Tethered cord syndrome is also medically termed as occult spinal dysraphism sequence. This is a neurological disorder that is associated with the spinal cord failing to normally ascend with growth, which causes it to stretch and damage.

What is spinal cord release?

The most common treatment for tethered spinal cord is a lumbar laminectomy to release the tethered cord. For this procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The neurological surgeon makes an incision in the lower back to expose the site where the spinal cord is pinned, then frees it by releasing the stuck portion of the cord.