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Boston Children’s Hospital is a world leader in caring for children with diseases and disorders of the brain, spine and central nervous system. Our Department of Neurosurgery offers dedicated expertise in treating tethered spinal cord syndrome, or “tethered cord,” a condition in which the child’s spinal cord is attached to the tissues of the spine, usually at the base of the spine. A tethered cord cannot move freely within the spinal canal, leading to nerve damage and limitations of motion and mobility.
If your child is living with tethered cord, he or she may be facing a number of problems—such as back pain, weakness or numbness in the legs, difficulty standing and walking and incontinence. These symptoms can seriously impact the child’s home, school and social life, and can tax the emotional health of the family, as well.
Here at Boston Children’s, your child is never merely a patient. Our internationally recognized neurosurgeons, imaging specialists, neuroscience nurses and other caregivers are committed to using our extensive experience to help your child lead a rich and fulfilling life. We treat your child as an individual, and we deliver care that supports the particular needs and circumstances of your entire family.
At Boston Children’s, our Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome Program provides the full scale of diagnostic, consultation, surgical and follow-up care services for children with tethered spinal cord syndrome, or “tethered cord.” Our neurosurgeons and other clinicians are considered the top of their field, and have many years of experience in studying and treating tethered cord in children of all ages.
All of our neurosurgery professionals have years of focused training in pediatric medicine and surgery. We understand the special needs of infants, children and adolescents with tethered cord and other related conditions.
Our neurosurgery experts work closely with other health professionals in departments and services throughout the hospital—such as neurology, endocrinology, urology, orthopedics and psychiatry, among others—to ensure that your child receives the most comprehensive and effective treatment possible.
Our clinicians are also involved in promising scientific research with important implications for understanding, treating and one day preventing tethered cord and the full spectrum of neurosurgical conditions.
Some of our particular areas of expertise include:
diagnosis of tethered cord through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans, among other imaging technologies
surgical procedures to separate the spinal cord from spinal tissue
working with urology and gastroenterology specialists to help children whose tethered cord syndrome has caused incontinence issues
working with physical therapists to help children with movement and mobility issues linked to their tethered cord syndrome
In 1929, Boston Children's physicians Harvey Cushing, MD, and Franc Ingraham, MD, established the Department of Neurosurgery at the hospital—marking the introduction of pediatric neurosurgery as a formally recognized field. Drs. Cushing and Ingraham, along with Donald Matson, MD, went on to write some of the most widely used and respected textbooks on pediatric neurosurgery (still considered required reading for aspiring neurosurgeons.)
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”