The horizontal sacrum as an indicator of the tethered spinal cord in spina bifida aperta and occulta

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Object

The authors report on symptomatic patients with myelomeningocele (MMC) and lipomyelomeningocele (LMMC) who were found to have changes in their lumbosacral angle (LSA) corresponding to the onset of symptoms indicative of a tethered spinal cord.

Methods

The authors review data obtained in these two cohorts of patients and compare the LSAs measured in the perinatal period with those seen when the patients presented with symptoms of a tethered spinal cord.

Results

Children with LMMC, roughly one third of studied cases, were symptomatic due to a tethered spinal cord at their most recent follow-up. In children in whom the MMC was the closed form at birth, 20 of 30 had symptoms that could be indicative of a tethered spinal cord at their most recent follow-up. The LSA was altered in both groups with symptoms.

Conclusions

Signs and symptoms indicative of a tethered spinal cord appear to correspond to increases in the LSA.

Abbreviations used in this paper:LMMC = lipomyelomeningocele; LSA = lumbosacral angle; MMC = myelomeningocele; MR = magnetic resonance; VB = vertebral body.

Object

The authors report on symptomatic patients with myelomeningocele (MMC) and lipomyelomeningocele (LMMC) who were found to have changes in their lumbosacral angle (LSA) corresponding to the onset of symptoms indicative of a tethered spinal cord.

Methods

The authors review data obtained in these two cohorts of patients and compare the LSAs measured in the perinatal period with those seen when the patients presented with symptoms of a tethered spinal cord.

Results

Children with LMMC, roughly one third of studied cases, were symptomatic due to a tethered spinal cord at their most recent follow-up. In children in whom the MMC was the closed form at birth, 20 of 30 had symptoms that could be indicative of a tethered spinal cord at their most recent follow-up. The LSA was altered in both groups with symptoms.

Conclusions

Signs and symptoms indicative of a tethered spinal cord appear to correspond to increases in the LSA.

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Article Information

Address reprint requests to: R. Shane Tubbs, Ph.D., Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital, 1600 7th Avenue South ACC 400, Birmingham, AL 35233. email: rstubbs@uab.edu.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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