Untethering of the spinal cord

Our leading HCA UK neurosurgeons can release a baby's tethered spine and prevent future growth issues

What is untethering of the spinal cord?

This procedure aims to untether the spinal cord. This condition can occur in babies, where tissue and fat become attached to the spinal cord while in the womb.

This can prevent the spine from developing properly and cause problems as the child grows. Surgery releases the spinal cord and prevents any future nerve damage.

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    This procedure happens under general anaesthetic, so your child will be asleep throughout. Your consultant surgeon will make an incision in the lower back, before lifting up the bone over the affected area of the spinal cord (laminoplasty).

    They will then make a small incision to the covering of the spinal cord (the dura), before releasing the spinal cord itself. Depending on the complexity of the problem, this may take some time. The dura will then be closed and the bone repositioned. To finish, the surgeon will close the wound. 

  • How to prepare icon plus

    In the week before the untethering of the spinal cord surgery, it’s important that your child stays healthy. Let your consultant know if your child has recently had a cold or a sore throat, as surgery may need to be postponed to reduce the risk of complications.

    Because general anaesthetic is used during the procedure, your child may need to fast for several hours before the operation. Your consultant will tell you how long they should avoid eating and drinking. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    Your child will wake up in intensive care, where they will be monitored closely. They will have a follow-up MRI scan after surgery, to ensure the surgery was a success.

    Your consultant will let when you know when your child can return to their normal routine and answer any questions you may have.

Our spinal consultants

We're proud to work with leading spinal consultants who specialise in paediatric conditions and injuries of the back.

Our locations

From complex spinal surgery to diagnostic test and scans, we provide exceptional spinal care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a spinal appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced spinal consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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