Reversal of longstanding neurological deficits after a late release of tethered spinal cord

Gaurav Gupta, Robert F. Heary, Jennifer Michaels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The importance of early surgery for tethered cord syndrome in the pediatric population is well established. Optimal treatment and prognosis of tethered cord in adults, on the other hand, is less clear. Some advocate a conservative approach in asymptomatic patients, while others recommend early detethering in all patients. For symptomatic patients, however, there is a consensus in favor of early surgery to prevent progression of neurological deficit. Many studies have reported cessation of neurological decline or reversal of recently acquired neurological deficits in patients with adult tethered cord syndrome. There are limited data in the literature about late surgery for the treatment of tethered spinal cords when the neurological deficits are longstanding. We report on a 37-year-old woman who demonstrated dramatic neurological improvement after surgical release of a tethered spinal cord more than 20 years after the onset of progressive neurological deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Adult tethered cord
  • Late detethering
  • Neurological improvement
  • Spinal cord


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