A tethered spinal cord occurs when the spinal cord is stretched like a rubber band. Abnormal tissue connections limit the movement of the spinal cord. Tethered cord can happen with other related conditions, including:

  • Spina bifida
  • Abnormal fat in the spinal cord
  • A tighter than normal connection between the spinal cord and the tailbone

A tethered spinal cord can cause:

  • Low back pain
  • Leg pain and numbness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Foot abnormalities
  • Scoliosis
  • Problems with bladder and bowel control

Treatments include bracing to strengthen the back and muscles around the spinal cord. Sometimes surgery is needed to relieve symptoms and surgery