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what is tehered spinal cord syndrome?

By May 17, 2013 - 12:57am
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I am a 41 year old female. I was born with a fatty tumor that was wrapped around the base of my spine. I had it removed at age 8.I very recently had an MRI done because I have been having chronic pain in my legs and lower back. the results said that there is a tethered cord with the tip of the conus medullaris reaching L4-5.Ther is an associated predominantly fatty mass from mid L3 through L4-5 in the posterior aspect of the thecal sac arising from the conus extending through a defect in the L4 and L5 posterior arches into the deep subcantaneous fat at L5 level .There is a mild fibrotic stranding in the deep subcantaneous fat. however no additional significant mass lesion.Longitudinal span of the mass is 4.5 cm however an additional thin component extends through the spinal dysraphism. additional dimensions are 14 mm transversely and 9mm anteroposterlorly at the L3-4 level. There is a 5 mm retrolisthesis at L5-S1 .there is moderate exaggeration of the lumbosacral lordotic curve fromL4 through S1.vertebral heights appear generally maintained. disc degeneration is mild at L4-5 and L5-S1 with dehydration.no worrisome marrow replacing lesions are seen. the abdominal aorta is unremarkable. no retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy.

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impression that was both written and verbally told to my doctor was 1)tethered and spial dysraphism w/lipoma from mid L3 through L4-5 2) Retrolistthesis is 5mm at L5-S1 iordotic exaggeration is moderate from L4 through S1:disc degeneration is mild at L4-L5-S1.My doctor has advised me to talk to a neurosurgeon because this is an issue that he (and I) feel will get worse with time.

May 17, 2013 - 9:16pm

"Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column. Attachments may occur congenitally at the base of the spinal cord (conus medullaris) or they may develop near the site of an injury to the spinal cord. These attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord. The course of the disorder is progressive." as cited on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website.

I appreciate the time you took to provide the findings reported on MRI scan results. But, the relevance of these findings must be explained to you by the your physician, who ordered the scan. I have had more MRIs and PET scans than I have fingers, and for the life of me have never been able to comprehend what the findings mean. I look at the section marked impression to get an idea of what is going on.

Please keep in contact,


May 17, 2013 - 6:36am
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