Tethered cord syndrome

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

Understanding tethered spinal cord syndrome

Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurological disorder involving abnormal attachments between spinal cords and nearby tissues.

Spinal cords should have the ability to move freely within the spinal canal. When a spinal cord cannot move freely because it is attached to spinal tissues, we refer to this as tethered spinal 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 team of pediatric and neurology experts at Norton Children’s will explain to you the severity of your child’s diagnosis and go over any risks associated with treatment. With decades of experience in tethered cord syndrome, the medical professionals have treated all types of variations.

“Tethered cord syndrome used to be considered rare,” said Dr. Moriarty. “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.”

Neuroscience

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