What is Tethered Cord Syndrome?
It is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column. These attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord. This syndrome is closely associated with spina bifida.
Can physiotherapy help children with tethered cord syndrome?
Yes. Physiotherapists can educate patients on posture, gait, and functional movements when participating in recreational and daily activities in order to limit progressive tension on the spinal cord.
What are the causes of tethered cord syndrome?
Dermal sinus tract – a rare congenital deformity
Diastematomyelia – meaning split spinal cord
Lipoma – a benign and fatty growth
Thickened/tight filum terminale – a delicate filament near the tailbone
A history of spine trauma
A history of spine surgery
What are the symptoms of tethered cord syndrome?
Lesion on the lower back
Fatty tumour or deep dimple on the lower back
Skin discoloration on the lower back
Hairy patch on the lower back
Back pain, worsened by activity and relieved with rest
Leg pain, especially in the back of legs
Leg numbness or tingling
Changes in leg strength
Deterioration in gait
Progressive or repeated muscle contractions
Scoliosis – a curvature of the spine
Bowel and bladder problems
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