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    Tethered Cord Syndrome

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Tethered Cord Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • TCS
    • tethered spinal cord syndrome

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    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.

    Resources

    American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project
    P.O. Box 1586
    Longview, TX 75606-1586
    Tel: (903)236-7079
    Fax: (903)757-7456
    Tel: (800)272-7282
    Email: info@asap.org
    Internet: http://www.asap.org

    March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains, NY 10605
    Tel: (914)997-4488
    Fax: (914)997-4763
    Tel: (888)663-4637
    Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
    Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

    Spina Bifida Association of America
    4590 MacArthur Boulevard NW
    Suite 250
    Washington, DC 20007-4226
    Tel: (202)944-3285
    Fax: (202)944-3295
    Tel: (800)621-3141
    Email: sbaa@sbaa.org
    Internet: http://www.sbaa.org

    International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
    Cellebroersstraat 16
    Brussels, B1000
    Belgium
    Tel: 32025020413
    Fax: 32025021129
    Email: info@ifglobal.org
    Internet: http://www.ifglobal.org

    NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    Tel: (301)496-5751
    Fax: (301)402-2186
    Tel: (800)352-9424
    TDD: (301)468-5981
    Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

    Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Canada
    Suite 647-167 av. Lombard Avenue
    Winnipeg
    MB
    R3B 0V3
    Canada
    Tel: 2049253650
    Fax: 2049253654
    Tel: 8005659488
    Email: info@sbhac.ca
    Internet: http://www.sbhac.ca

    Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc.
    976 Lake Baldwin Lane
    Orlando, FL 32814
    USA
    Tel: (407)895-0802
    Email: staff@birthdefects.org
    Internet: http://www.birthdefects.org

    Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Tel: (310)264-0826
    Fax: (310)264-4766
    Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    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.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    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 orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 12/8/2010
    Copyright 1990, 1999, 2007, 2010 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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