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Thread: Tethered cord diagnosis/surgery

  1. #1

    Tethered cord diagnosis/surgery

    So after my appointment today, I have a tethered cord & they are recommending surgery to fix, of which I am scared to death. Has anyone else had this surgery as an adult? Just kinda wondering how bad it's gonna be. My dural sac which should be round is triangular shaped, & there's a "stalk' going from there to the dimple on my back. I have a pic of the MRI if anyone can tell me how to post it, I would kind of like Wise Young to look & give his opinion.
    Thanks in advance for anyone that can post their experience with this type of surgery.

    Brooke

  2. #2
    Brooke, I'm glad you finally know what's going on. I've seen plenty of posts here by adults who have undergone untethering procedures, and I hope that you'll get a lot of feedback. In the meantime, have you done a forum search on tethered cord? The search function at CareCure has really been a boon to me and you might find some of your questions answered in the threads that come up. Thank you for this update - hope you hear from knowledgeable people who have been through the surgery and know the kinds of issues involved.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    Hi Brooke,

    I had that done at age 38 - surgery followed by weeks of PT. The surgery itself was not too bad, nor the recovery. However, given the nature of my situation, I did lose some function (which I was in the process of losing anyway...) Don't know what your current situation is and I'm sorry you're dealing with this. PM me if you have any specific questions.

  4. #4
    I will be 35 in February, & unfortunately a smoker (will be working on quitting before the surgery so I don't have to deal with nicotine w/drawals) plus ive heard being a smoker does not help the healing process with spinal operations. But I have not lost any function yet, which is probably why they are advising me to go ahead with it before I lose any. I have some weakness in my right leg & numbness in my hip that sometimes runs down to my knee, so even if that doesn't come back, that's not so bad. I want to do it before I lose any bowel/bladder function, which I know is possible if I do not have it done. I work full time so I'm kinda scared of so much time off work (as out ST disability only pays 60% of my salary). What did the PT entail? Just restrenghtening everything or just exercising to get back to 100%?
    Thanks for responding, I really do appreciate it.
    Last edited by BlueEyedVAGirl; 08-25-2011 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Added thought

  5. #5

    Mri

    Here's what the most recent MRI looks like that was done last night. The "stalk" going out to the dimple on my back (I also have a hairy patch there that was noticed when I was five) didn't show up last year on the MRI I had done in my hometown, but they did that MRI w/out contrast, the new one was done with and without.Attachment 41764

  6. #6
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    PT was about 4 weeks in a hospital/rehab (and also outpatient for a while) working on getting strength back and teaching me to navigate around on crutches; I had lost a significant amount of function before the surgery and had some other issues since birth, so my case seems more extreme than yours - you may come out with far fewer problems to deal with.

    I also work f/t (I teach high school) - total time lost at work was approx. 5 weeks, although the docs were surprised that I went back that fast. The actual healing from the surgery was not at all difficult or drawn out.

  7. #7
    Your MRI image suggests spina bifida with filum to soft tissue at the defect.

    It's hard to stop smoking when you are facing such a stressful time.
    Hopefully you will cut down and be able to stop when things settle out/

    Make sure to get several doctors opinions for surgery before you have it done.

    PM me for Doctors in Wash DC

  8. #8

    Soooooo pissed

    I'm about to BLOW MY TOP, surgery is scheduled for Monday, Anthem approved the surgery as OUTPATIENT!~ and denied the hospital stay of 3 days

    Do these people that actually review the information there actually have any freaking clue what they are doing????

    Sorry for the vent, but I mean, OMG, I do not want to have the surgery as outpatient and then drive home two hours.....Not to mention that my doctor wants me IN the hospital for several days or the fact that once I get home, if anything is WRONG I have to trek back another two hours, OR go to the idiots in town.

    UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueEyedVAGirl View Post
    I'm about to BLOW MY TOP, surgery is scheduled for Monday, Anthem approved the surgery as OUTPATIENT!~ and denied the hospital stay of 3 days

    Do these people that actually review the information there actually have any freaking clue what they are doing????

    Sorry for the vent, but I mean, OMG, I do not want to have the surgery as outpatient and then drive home two hours.....Not to mention that my doctor wants me IN the hospital for several days or the fact that once I get home, if anything is WRONG I have to trek back another two hours, OR go to the idiots in town.

    UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is a mistake. If your operation entails cutting the dura, you won't be going home for several days. No if's and's or but's about it. Even three days sounds optimistic.

    Try to stay calm as you work with your doctor's office and the insurance company to get the mistake corrected.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  10. #10
    Senior Member beecee's Avatar
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    i had untethering surgery at least 15 years ago
    falchi in denver did it
    i was in the hospital for most of two weeks
    but after the doctors (and charlottes) prescribed (and threatened with christmas removal) six weeks without lifting, i was back in my racing chair with some return of function

    good luck blueeyes

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