i am a 41 year old female who had tethered cord surgery 2 years ago. Ever since the surgery I have been experiencing numbness and tingling in my feet and legs. I am also having leg spasms located in the back of my calves and thighs from time to time. I've been seeing another doctor and they are telling me that i may need another surgery as it appears that i may have retethered. My symptoms are worse now than before i had the surgery. I now walk with a limp , my lower back hurts all the time, i can't use stairs without holding on to something. My feet are constantly numb and they swell when iam on them for some time. I used to be able to do normchi cjal things but now I can't. I have problems with my balance and when im tired its worse. I did experience a lot of UTI's through out my life, even as a child . Currently I do have problems with bladder leakage and i am unable to empty my bladder completely , in which i have to cath about once a day.They tell me now that there is muscle deteriation and nerve damage. My question is this , will having the surgery again help me or just slow down the inevitable? Also is the way i am now a result of the surgery or just the way i healed?
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I cannot tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
I’m sorry to hear about the symptoms that you are currently experiencing. A tethered spinal cord is best defined as an abnormal attachment of the spinal cord to the tissues that surround it. The radiographic diagnosis of tethered spinal cord is distinct from the clinical diagnosis of tethered cord syndrome, that is, the signs and symptoms believed to result from excessive tension on the spinal cord. Ascribed clinical manifestations include pain (especially with flexion), bowel and bladder dysfunction, weakness, sensory changes, gait abnormalities, and musculoskeletal deformities of the feet and spine, such as scoliosis or clubfoot. A tethered cord may be a congenital problem, or can develop through an acquired process such infection, scarring, or tumor.
When a patient has progression of symptoms due to a tethered cord, an untethering operation is often attempted. Unfortunately, retethering of the cord is common, particularly in complex cases when not all of the adherent, tethering tissue can be removed. Since this is not a degenerative process, I do not believe there is a reason why a second operation cannot provide benefit. However, I would defer to your surgeon on the question of the risks and benefits of re-operation.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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