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Tethered Cord Syndrome
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
- tethered spinal cord syndrome
Tethered cord syndrome is a stretch-induced functional disorder associated with the fixation (tethering) effect of inelastic tissue on the caudal spinal cord, limiting its movement. This abnormal attachment is associated with progressive stretching and increased tension of the spinal cord as a child ages, potentially resulting in a variety of neurological and other symptoms. Due to the variation of the growth rate of the spinal cord and the spinal column, the progression of neurological signs and symptoms is highly variable. Some individuals present with tethered cord syndrome at birth (so-called congenital), while others develop the symptomatology in infancy or early childhood. Other individuals may not develop any noticeable symptoms until adulthood. Although some authors call these cases acquired, the majority of these cases are mostly developmental, corresponding to the progressive development of excess fibrous connective tissue (fibrosis) in the filum terminale. The filum terminale is a strand of tissue that bridges the spinal cord tip and the tailbone (sacrum). The inelastic structures in children originated from defective closure of the neural tube (the precursor of the spinal cord) during embryonic development, eventually forming a condition known as spina bifida. Because of its functional (physiological) nature, tethered cord syndrome can be reversible if surgically treated in its early stage.
American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project
P.O. Box 1586
Longview, TX 75606-1586
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Spina Bifida Association of America
4590 MacArthur Boulevard NW
Washington, DC 20007-4226
International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Tel: +32 (0)2 502 0413
Fax: +32 (0)2 502 1129
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Canada
Suite 647-167 av. Lombard Avenue
Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc.
976 Lake Baldwin Lane
Orlando, FL 32814
MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
5550 Meadowbrook Drive
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-3852
Internet: http://www.NeurosurgeryToday.org and http://www.aans.org
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.® (NORD). Cigna members can access the complete report by logging into myCigna.com. For non-Cigna members, a copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html.
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
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This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 12/8/2010
Copyright 1990, 1999, 2007, 2010 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.