Your question: What causes tethered spinal cord in infants?

Is tethered spinal cord genetic?

These children will have symptoms related to the bottom of the spinal cord. Common symptoms include back pain, leg pain, constipation, urinary dysfunction (urgency, frequency, accidents or recurrent urinary infections), foot deformities and scoliosis. Tethering is sporadic and typically does not run in families.

How can tethered spinal cord be prevented?

The only way to prevent a recurrent tethered cord is to be certain that the neural elements remain free within circumferentially patent cerebrospinal fluid. We hereby describe a method where a curved 1.5 mm oval piece of Medpor is used to create a posterior space for the neural elements.

When does tethered cord develop?

Tethered cord may be congenital (present at birth, a result of developmental malformation) or it may be acquired (arise later in life). Congenital tethering is usually discovered in childhood, but not always. In some cases congenital tethering is not discovered, or not diagnosed correctly, until adulthood.

What happens if a baby has a tethered cord?

A tethered spinal cord can cause problems from the time your infant is born, or as your child grows, depending on the cause and severity of the disorder. These problems can include paralysis or reduced sensation in the lower part of your child’s body, which affects movement and bladder control.

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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.

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.

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.

Can ultrasound detect tethered cord?

The tests your child’s doctor will use to diagnose tethered spinal cord may depend on your child’s age. For newborns younger than 3 months, the easiest and fastest way to diagnose this condition is with an ultrasound of the back. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to take pictures the spinal canal.

How long is recovery from tethered cord surgery?

Rehabilitation and Recovery

Kids usually return to normal activities within a few weeks. Your child will likely have an appointment with a neurosurgery provider two weeks after discharge from the hospital, to check the incision.