Tethered Cord Surgery

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Tethered Cord Surgery

Postby jjames » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:13 pm

Hello All -
I was diagnosed with chiari in 1998 and was decompressed that same year. We thought all was well. My syrinx (C1-T10) didn't shrink at all and with annual MRI's to monitor, it was determined in 2007 that it was slightly larger and my symptoms were increasing. I had another decompression that year, and since then the syrinx is shrinking in diameter, but not yet in length (any shrinking is good news!). However, my symptoms are still progressing. I was recently told that I have a very possible tethered cord at the lower end (in the lumbar region) which is also complicated by a post-surgical tethering at the medulla. SCARY! My NS said that he personally would not touch the medulla tethering. However, he thinks that by un-tethering the cord at the lumbar region, that may cause some relief at the medulla as well, as they are right now fighting/pulling at each other.
I want to hear from people that have had the tethered cord surgery. What were your symptoms prior to the surgery? Did they improve? What was the recovery time after the surgery?
I want to feel better...have a chance for a pain free day....but facing yet another surgery with uncertain outcomes scares me.
Thanks for the help!
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 11:06 am
Location: Nebraska

Re: Tethered Cord Surgery

Postby storm » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:20 pm

I too had the decompression in 2000 with a syrinx C4-T8 (small they say ) .
This past 2 year my legs were becoming increasingly heavy and I felt I had to concentrate very hard on walking . i was incredibly tired all the time and irritable.
I have had to push to urinate for as long as I can remember and my doctor recommended I go to a urologist for a urodynamics test which I put off until things got so bad with my back I was unable to sleep at night the pain in my right but cheek was so bad .
I sat in a chair and i felt crooked , like one side of my body was getting "scrunched up " . Eventually I sent all my records to teh Chiari Institute and tehy gave me the diagnosis over the phone , I saw Dr. Gibbons who had done my decompression in 2000 and he scheduled the urodynamics test and then the surgery followed right after .
Within 1 month I was out walking 3 miles a day , still couldnt tie my own shoes , but I could walk like I havent in years . My back pain is almost gone in the low back , just the suergery site is tender .
My thorasic pain has not changed , I still have alot of pain there and the headaches seem to be worse ...
All in all I feel it was more than well worth it because I dont think I could have stood the pain much longer .
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:09 pm

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