- 01 June 2018
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Occult Spinal Dysraphism: An Overview
There are many stages an infant baby goes through when he or she is born. From infancy to adolescence to teenage then adulthood and then finally old age. The growth of the baby in height is a natural process but in many cases, the growth can be disturbed due to various conditions which might affect the baby before birth, after birth or even during adolescence. One such condition which is a neurological in nature and might affect the growth of your baby is Tethered Cord Syndrome or Occult Spinal Dysraphism. Now you might be wondering, what part of your body is called Tethered Cord, right? This syndrome affects the spinal cord of the baby to such an extent that it stops or halts the growth of the baby by affecting the growth of the spinal cord.
What is Tethered Cord Syndrome?
Your spinal cord is a flexible set of bones which helps in the movement of your body and maintaining your body balance as well. However, there is a part of your spinal cord which is inelastic in nature and is immobile. This is called the caudal spinal cord which consists of inelastic tissue. As the child ages, the spinal cord also grows in size to match the length of the back of the child but this stretch-induced functional disorder limits the movement of the caudal spinal cord. Due to the progressive stretching and the increased tension which follows in this part of the spinal cord, this condition is the result. The Tethered Cord Syndrome is a developmental disorder which can be congenital in nature if it occurs during the birth of the child but can also develop during infancy or even during early childhood, while for some, it can be seen in adulthood. This disease can also occur due to various injuries as well. All the forms of this condition involve the pulling of the spinal cord as the base of the spinal canal which can be seen as a literal tethered cord.
What are the symptoms of Tethered Cord Syndrome?
There are quite a few symptoms of tethered cord syndrome which are immediately visible and then can be taken to your doctor for confirmation and further treatment. Or you can visit us at Sunshine Hospitals where our experienced doctors can diagnose your child and treat him completely.
The symptoms of Tethered Cord syndrome are:
1. Children with this condition are reported to have an abnormal lower back, mostly characterised by hair present in patches, lower back depressions that resemble dimples and even fatty bulges.
2. Another common characteristic of this disease is the presence of deformities in the foot and around the spinal cord as well. So, keep a close watch on these two portions of your child’s body.
3. If you observe weakness in your child’s leg movements without any injury, then you should check with your doctor. This condition is often characterised by the loss of leg functions, loss of muscle and a lean appearance also.
4. Observe how your child walks or runs. If there is any difference in terms of speed and gait accompanied by a lower back pain, please talk to a doctor immediately.
5. Another common indicator of this disease is urinary issues. If your child insists on visiting the washroom very often, or too less, accompanied by one or more of the above symptoms, you should consider going to a doctor.
Diagnosing Tethered Cord Syndrome:
In most cases, if your child is seen to have the symptoms before he reaches the age of 5, a USG exam is done to confirm whether the condition is Tethered Cord Syndrome. If the child is over the age of 5, an MRI scan is done along with a rectal examination. However, if there is a urinary condition, a urology test is also done.
Treatments for Tethered Cord Syndrome
Firstly, visit your doctor if you witness some of these symptoms. Involvement of one symptom only, does not indicate a tethered cord syndrome. However, a surgery is very important once an early diagnosis of this condition is done (which is also very necessary). Infants and newborns can be surgically treated with the help of a surgery but an early diagnosis is very important. Since, this is a delicate procedure, it is essential to visit your doctor or us at Sunshine Hospitals at the earliest so that, we can help you in diagnosing the condition of tethered cord syndrome and get it cured as soon as possible.
About the Doctor: Dr Naveen is an expert in treating with brain tumor cases. He takes special interest in supervising brain scan and MRI on patients suspected of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. He is one of the best Neurosurgeon in Hyderabad and is sought after for some of the most delicate and complicated brain surgeries.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500+ bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.