Orthopedic Lesions in Tethered Cord Syndrome: The Importance of Early Diagnosis and Treatment on Patient Outcome

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Orthopedic Research Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Orthopedic Research Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Orthopedic Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Many of the patients with tethered cord syndrome (TCS) are admitted because of neurological symptoms, while some are admitted because of their orthopedic, urologic, anorectal, and dermatologic manifestations.Consequently, this study aimed to evaluate the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of tethered cord syndrome on patient outcome.
Fourty-three patients who underwent surgery because of tethered cord syndrome from 2006 to 2010 were studied. Many of these cases were referred by orthopedic surgeons. All of the findings were recorded and follow up was done twice (1 and 3 years after surgery).
Thirty-seven patients were less than 7 years old and 6 were between 17 to 33 years old. According to clinical and neurological exams, satisfactory results were achieved in both groups. Those with early surgical intervention, especially in their early follow up assessment, had the best results. Seventeen cases were referred by an orthopedic surgeon because of manifestations such as leg weakness and numbness, leg pain and spasticity, pes cavus, claw toes, and leg or foot length discrepancy. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage occurred in 3 cases after surgery and 1 showed pseudomeningocele formation.
After one year of follow up, initially the results of the treatment were better in early operated cases, but in later follow up assessment (after 3 years) the results were almost the same in both of the groups.


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