Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurological 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. The lower tip of the spinal cord is normally located opposite the disc between the first and second lumbar vertebrae in the upper part of the lower back. In people with spina bifida (myelomeningocele), the spinal cord fails to separate from the skin of the back during development, preventing it from ascending normally, so the spinal cord is low-lying or tethered.
The following disorders may also cause tethered spinal cord syndrome:
Surgery is a treatment option for Tethered Spinal Cord. If surgery is not advisable, spinal cord nerve roots may be cut to relieve pain. In a small percentage of patients, spinal instability may require that spinal fusion be performed.
Spinal fusion is an operation that creates a solid union between two or more vertebrae. This procedure may assist in strengthening and stabilizing the spine and may help to relieve severe and chronic neck pain.
There are a variety of the different types of lumbar fusions:
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