What is the tethered cord syndrome

Tethered cord syndrome presents with signs and symptoms that result from excessive tension on the spinal cord. At birth, the conus is usually located at the L2-L3 level and ascends to the L1-L2 level by 3 months of age. Spinal dysraphism is responsible for the majority of cases. A constellation of signs and symptoms is associated with this syndrome including neurologic deficits, back pain, cutaneous abnormalities, spinal deformities, bowel and bladder dysfunction, gait abnormalities, and orthopaedic deformities. MRI including dynamic imaging is the primary modality for confirmation of diagnosis. Surgical intervention is directed toward release of tethering structures to relieve chronic tension in the spinal cord.

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