Pediatric Tethered Cord

When a child develops typically, their spinal cord stops at a certain point in the child’s lower back. The spinal cord is not connected to any structure of the body or any skin. This allows the spinal cord to grow as the child grows.

In children afflicted with Pediatric Tethered Cord, some form of the disorder, trauma, or disease causes the spinal cord to be connected to the spinal column. The spinal cord can become stretched as the child grows older. This damages the spinal cord as well as the nerves surrounding it.

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Symptoms

Children with Pediatric Tethered Cord often suffer from back pain. This pain often increases when the child is active and lessens when the child is resting. The lower back may exhibit a deep dimple or a fatty tumor. The lower back may also show an infection or a sore or a lesion. The lower end might also present a hairy patch. And the skin on the lower back may be discolored.

The child may exhibit deformities in their leg. And their leg strength may change. They may suffer pain in their legs, especially at the back portion of the leg. And they may have difficulty in walking. Their legs might feel numb, or they might feel tingling.

The child may exhibit scoliosis or a curving of the spine. The spine may feel tender.

The child may have problems with their bladder and their bowel like incontinence.

Causes

Pediatric Tethered Cord may be caused by trauma to the spine, surgery on the spine, or an infection to the dermal sinus tract. It may also be caused by a lipoma or a tumor, as well as by the presence of diastematomyelia, myelomeningocele, or lipomyelomeningocele.

Treatment

Issues due to Pediatric Tethered Cord may appear from the moment of your baby’s birth, or they may start looking as the child grows older. It depends on the severity and the cause of the disorder. These issues may include reduced sensation or even paralysis in the lower part of the body of the child. This will affect how they move as well as their bladder control. Children afflicted with Pediatric Tethered Cord will require care and support from a team that specializes in pediatric care as well as in pediatric urology. Some children and babies will need surgery to fix their tethered cord and to alleviate their problems with bladder control.

Source: www.cdc.gov

Children whose problem with their tethered cord is severe might require immediate surgery to prevent future complications. This is particularly true among children who are suffering from severe types of spina bifida. One such severe type of spina bifida is myelomeningocele. If surgeons do not fix the way the spinal cord is connected, the spinal cord will be stretched and damaged as the child grows. And this will cause additional problems with their urination, their nerves, and their movement.

Their doctors monitor children afflicted with Pediatric Tethered Cord but who do not display any symptoms. If the child starts to show signs, the doctor may suggest immediate surgery to prevent more damage to the child’s growth.

Unfortunately, any surgery that fixes the tethered cord will not repair any damage that has already been inflicted. These may require additional treatment.

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