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Thread: Low Lying Spinal Cord

  1. #1

    Low Lying Spinal Cord

    Hi. My son is three. He has hypotonia- falls a lot- and has severe constipation. He also has a dimple in his butt crack. The doctor thought he had a tethered cord, and did an MRI. The MRI showed no evidence of tethered cord, but indicated that his spinal cord came down longer than it should and is low lying. We see a neurologist next month. Can a tethered cord be overlooked on an MRI? And, can a neurologist even help us? OR, should we be seeing a neurosurgeon. We don't know what to do next. The doctor thinks that perhaps the low lying cord is causing the hypotnoia and the constipation. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    I don't know where you live Silvaggio but Johns Hopkins in Baltimore has 2 of the best pediatric neurosurgeons in the country,Ben Carson and George Jallo.I think they might review your sons mris via email.Also I think you would be better served if you moved your post to the care section.

  3. #3
    Dr. Young has stated that tethered cord quite often does not show up on MRI. I agree with ctoom91 about checking with the doctors at Johns Hopkins, if possible - I've heard very good things about the work they do there with tethered cord and all kinds of neurological problems. Best wishes to you and your family.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    If you're near chicago, my former pediatric neurosurgeon at the University of Chicago is great. Dr David Frim.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  5. #5
    Craig Hospital in Denver is another facility with a surgeon (Dr. Falchi) respected by many members here - Craig specializes in SCI and traumatic brain injury treatment and rehabilitation.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Silvaggio View Post
    Hi. My son is three. He has hypotonia- falls a lot- and has severe constipation. He also has a dimple in his butt crack. The doctor thought he had a tethered cord, and did an MRI. The MRI showed no evidence of tethered cord, but indicated that his spinal cord came down longer than it should and is low lying. We see a neurologist next month. Can a tethered cord be overlooked on an MRI? And, can a neurologist even help us? OR, should we be seeing a neurosurgeon. We don't know what to do next. The doctor thinks that perhaps the low lying cord is causing the hypotnoia and the constipation. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
    Silvaggio, it is possible that your son has spina bifida oculta. The dimple and the low-lying spinal cord suggests that delayed closure of your son's spinal canal may have affected the development of his spinal cord. Incomplete spinal cord development can account for the symptoms that you describe (hypotonia and constipation).

    As you know, there is currently no effective therapy for spina bifida. In some cases, there may be a fatty tumor or tethering of the spinal cord. It might be worthwhile untethering or removing the lipoma to see if it helps. However, please know that the surgery may not do anything. Given that there is no evidence of tethering or a lipoma, I don't think that surgery is indicated.

    Will there be therapies in the future for spina bifida? I hope so. Some of the therapies that we are now developing to transplant neural stem cells into the lumbosacral spinal cord and stimulating regeneration may help restore function in people with spinal cord injury. If so, these therapies may well be applicable to people with spina bifida.

    Wise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    my brother has spina bifida occulta. While he had issues growing up as a result, by his later teens everything seemed to work out. The last symptom he had was bladder issues, incontinence as a result of not feeling when his bladder was full. It either rectified itself, or he developed a way to manage it and didn't talk about it.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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