Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome and Surgery

In September, my son (will be 10 months) is going to have a Tethered Spinal Cord Release Surgery.

The sign was his crooked butt crease found at 1 month checkup, which I couldn't even notice it O_o

A tethered spinal cord is a spinal cord that is fastened to the spinal canal, while the spinal cord normally floats free inside the spinal canal.

“A tethered cord is often diagnosed as a "low conus." The conus medullaris (or lower termination of the spinal cord) normally terminates at or above the L1-2 disk space (where L1 is the first, or topmost lumbar vertebra). After about 3 months of age, a conus below the L1-2 disk space may indicate a tethered cord and termination below L3-4 is unmistakably tethered. Cord tethering is often assumed when the conus is below the normal L2-3 level.”

My son had a MRI checkup at 5 months of age and the termination was at L3, unmistakably tethered… fortunately with no terminal lipoma.

He has no symptoms yet but as children grow (with this condition), 50% may have several symptoms: back pain, leg pain, urinary irregularities, etc… Therefore, early surgery is recommended, or the improvement will be difficult when they start to have the symptoms.

To remove any fear factor, I thought I should better not wait.

His doctor explained, the surgery is very simple (about 1.5 hour). He needs to cut his back for about 3cm (about an inch) to release the tethered cord. The scar will be very thin as he grows up, if he doesn't develop a keloid, etc...

Follow-up MRI visits will be needed since the spinal cord does have the potential to re-tether after surgery.

BTW, I was taking folic acid before and during the pregnancy. My doctor said it is nothing to do with lack of it...

If you know anything about this surgery or any good article about this surgery let me know.

Please do not write anything under my cooking posts~ because I know some people don’t like it. I will check comments here or the related ones.

I hope my son could have the surgery as scheduled :)


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  1. The good thing about keloids is that they can be frozen and it can be scraped off or it can be left alone to fall off. If done right, they typically won't come back for years.

    If you are worried about the scar being very visible then you could apply lotion to it but it'll be a slow process like it is for stretch marks.

  2. I hope everything goes perfect for your son! xx :)

  3. I don't know what to say I'm feeling so emotional right now (I recently gave birth to my first baby girl that is now five months) and my mothery hormones are still all over the place so reading about your son's surgery is making my heart aches
    But I really wanted to give you all my respect and support you are such an amazing strong person I'm hoping and praying from all my heart that everything goes well and your son will be all healthy and safe between your arms

  4. Sorry Ochikeron, I only found out about this now. But thankful the surgery went well! I'm praying for a speedy recovery with no complications for him. And for peace for you :) it must have been hard seeing him go through surgery.
    'And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.' - Philippians 4:19


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