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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
A: Tethered cord is a very treatable condition, especially when diagnosed and treated early. But in some cases, a tethered spinal cord can cause nerve damage.
A: A prenatal ultrasound may be able to detect tethered spinal cord before birth. Boston Children’s Hospital provides prenatal ultrasonography through our Advanced Fetal Care Center.
A: Surgery is the only treatment that can actually “untether” the spinal cord, but not every child needs surgery. Your child’s neurosurgeon will talk with you about whether your child needs surgery.
A: It is possible that the spine can “re-tether” after surgery, especially during growth spurts. If this occurs, your child may need another surgery to fix the tethering.
A: Although surgery can untether the spinal cord, it cannot restore any functions—such as bowel and bladder control and sensation and mobility in the legs and feet—that your child may have already lost. With rehabilitation and support, children with these complications can regain some function and go on to active and healthy adult lives.
You can learn more about tethered cord at the Tethered Spinal Cord Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”