Tethered Cord Syndrome

The team of Norton Children’s board-certified neurosurgeons is led by Thomas M. Moriarty, M.D., Ph.D., a recognized leader in the field with extensive experience and specialized training. Our physicians have the sophisticated tools and skills to give you and your child a precise diagnosis and treatment plan for tethered cord syndrome that minimizes risk, so your child can get back to being a kid again.

Understanding Tethered Cord Syndrome

A tethered spinal cord is a neurological disorder involving abnormal attachments between the spinal cord and nearby tissue.

The spinal cord should have the ability to move freely within the spinal canal. When the spinal cord cannot move freely because it is attached to spinal tissues, we refer to this as tethered cord syndrome. The tethered tissue limits the movement of the spinal cord and causes the cord to be abnormally stretched. For growing children, this can lead to a variety of physical issues, including back and leg pain, numbness or tingling sensations, and bowel issues.

Tethered Cord Treatment

There are numerous types of spinal cord tethering, some more severe than others. Most are treated with surgery. The Norton Children’s team of pediatric and neurology specialists will explain the severity of your child’s diagnosis and go over any risks associated with treatment. With decades of experience in treating tethered cord syndrome, our medical professionals have cared for all types of variations.

“Tethered cord syndrome used to be considered rare,” said Thomas M. Moriarty, M.D., Ph.D. “Not so much anymore. In Louisville, our pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists — especially orthopedics, neurology, urology, pediatric gynecology and gastroenterology — are very sensitive to the signs and symptoms of the syndrome.”

Why Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute?

  • The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
  • We are the first in Kentucky and among the first in the nation to use neurostimulation in a pediatric patient.
  • Regional neurology care is available for children across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We travel to clinics in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. We also perform a number of telemedicine visits each week.
  • The specialists with Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, use state-of-the-art technology to treat epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures and deep brain tumors in children who, in the past, would not be candidates for surgery, including:
    • Visualase: Technology that allows neurosurgeons to perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery. Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
    • Surgical Theater: Virtual reality technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s brain, allowing neurosurgeons, the patient and family to see inside the skull and brain to get a greater understanding of the condition and impact of potential procedures. Norton Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the region to use this technology.
  • We offer dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, craniofacial injuries and disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, spasticity, headache/migraine, autism and neurocutaneous disorders.
  • Our multidisciplinary craniofacial program was the first established in the Midwest.
  • We offer a neurogenetics clinic to evaluate and treat children with neurogenetic syndromes.
  • We have a neuropsychology program that specializes in the evaluation of children and teens with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and medical conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy.
  • Outpatient neurology facilities in downtown Louisville are equipped with in-office electroencephalography (EEG) capabilities and laboratory services in the same building, creating a streamlined, family-centered environment.
  • We offer the region’s first clinic to treat children with immune-mediated neurological disorders.

 

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