Tethered Spinal Cord Program | Overview
The Boston Children’s Hospital Tethered Spinal Cord Program provides a full range of care for children with tethered spinal cord syndrome, or tethered cord.
A tethered cord is attached to the tissues of the spine, usually at the base. When the spinal cord is attached, it can’t move freely within the spinal canal. This can cause nerve damage and a host of symptoms. Children with tethered cord may have back pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs, trouble standing or walking, and incontinence. These symptoms can affect your child’s home, school, and social life, and touch your entire family.
Our depth of experience in tethered spinal cord
Our Tethered Spinal Cord Program includes some of the world’s most experienced neurosurgeons, imaging specialists, neuroscience nurses, and health care professionals. We have years of experience studying and treating tethered cord, and understand the special needs of infants, children, and adolescents with this condition.
We treat your child as an individual, and work together to support the needs of your entire family.
Why choose the Tethered Spinal Cord Program?
Our experts work closely with other health professionals throughout the hospital — such as neurology, endocrinology, urology, orthopedics, and psychiatry — to ensure your child receives the most effective treatment possible. Our strength in all of the related sub-specialties ensures we are ready to address every aspect of your child’s care, from diagnostic testing and surgery to long-term support.
Our clinicians are also involved in promising research to better understand and treat tethered cord, with the goal of one day preventing the condition.
Some of our particular areas of expertise include:
- diagnosis of tethered cord through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans, among other imaging technologies
- surgical procedures to separate the spinal cord from spinal tissue
- surgical follow-up
- working with urology and gastroenterology specialists to help children whose tethered cord syndrome has caused incontinence issues
- working with physical therapists to help children with movement and mobility issues linked to their tethered cord syndrome