Quick Answer: What is tethered spinal cord in adults?

Can adults get tethered spinal cord syndrome?

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 you live with a tethered cord?

Although it is rare, a patient with tethered spinal cord can continue undiagnosed into adulthood. In such cases, the strain on the spinal cord increases, leading to increasing sensory and motor problems, as well as loss of bladder and bowel control.

What happens if a tethered spinal cord goes untreated?

Patients with untreated tethered cord will continue to experience their current symptoms, and their motor and sensory function may worsen. Particularly in children, lengthening of the spine with growth can lead to paraplegia and loss of bowel and bladder function.

Can a tethered spinal cord Be Fixed?

The good news is that tethered spinal cord is a very treatable condition, especially when diagnosed and treated early. Surgery is the most common treatment to “untether” the spinal cord from the spinal tissue.

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How long does tethered spinal cord surgery take?

The procedure lasts two to four hours. Although each child’s experience is different, a typical hospital stay after a tethered cord release lasts four to seven days. If your child has the procedure, they will likely be hospitalized in the Neurosciences Unit. Here, they rest flat in bed for 24 to 72 hours after surgery.

Is tethered spinal cord a rare disease?

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.

How do you test a tethered cord?

How is tethered spinal cord diagnosed?

  1. For newborns younger than 3 months, the easiest and fastest way to diagnose this condition is with an ultrasound of the back. …
  2. For children older than 3 months, the most effective test is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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.

How successful is tethered cord surgery?

Previous studies of surgical detethering in adult patients with a tethered cord showed that pain is the most effectively treated symptom with success rates of 48%–100%. Other deficits, such as motor weakness and sphincter dysfunction, are more difficult to treat.

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