Reader’s Question of Tethered Cord…

During fetal development the spinal cord occupies the entire length of the vertebral column, this cannot persist because when the child or the adult bends this may cause a kink in the blood supply though the spinal cord.

Surgical transaction to the thickened cord tends to halt the progression of neurological signs and prevents the development of dysfunction in asymptomatic patients.
Surgery prognosis is a very difficult area to analyze. In a recent review of three different neurosurgeons with commonly done neurosurgical procedures the outcomes varied greatly. It did seem however that there was a very low rate of poor neurological outcome after the first surgery for tethered cord.

The best way to evaluate the prognosis of any surgery is to look at the history of your surgeon what are his/her outcomes like. Is the surgery more complicated than other patients( many times tethered cord may be associated with other abnormalities which can effect the outcome of the surgery)

If the patient needs a second or third procedure the risk for an adverse outcome is improved. If there is solely a tethered cord release it seems however that 97% of the kids are ok 25 years out from surgery.

As always however 97% is fine unless you are one of the three percent. What I try to get my patients to focus on is what is happening now and how can we maximize what we are doing now instead of looking ahead to possibilities which in the future may not apply to us.
I hope this has been helpful

Written By James Reilly of and

For Domestic & International Adoption Medical record reviews