Tethered cord syndrome: nationwide inpatient complications and outcomes.
ABSTRACT Previous investigations of health outcome after spinal surgery for tethered cord syndrome (TCS) have been single-institution studies. The aim of this study was to report inpatient complications and outcomes on a nationwide level.
The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) was used to identify patients who underwent spinal surgery for TCS in the US between 1993 and 2002. Patients who had a primary diagnosis of TCS (ICD-9 742.59) and also underwent spinal laminectomies were included in this study. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the effects of patient and hospital characteristics on variables such as mortality rate, nonfatal complications, LOS, and adverse outcomes in general (defined as death or discharge to an institution rather than home).
The NIS sample included data on 9733 patients with TCS who underwent surgery. The means for mortality rate, complication rate, and LOS, respectively, were 0.0005%, 9.48%, and 5.6 days. Postoperative hemorrhages or hematomas (mean rate 2.3%) were the most common complications reported. Age and complications were the only significant predictors of adverse outcome on multivariate analysis. Patients older than 65 years had a threefold increase in risk of adverse outcome compared with patients 18 to 44 years of age. On average, one postoperative complication led to a 3-day increase in mean LOS and added more than $9000 to hospital charges.
This study provides a national perspective on inpatient complications and outcomes after spinal surgery for TCS in the United States. The authors have demonstrated the impact of age, complications, and medical comorbidities on the outcome of surgery for patients with this common disorder.
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Article: Tethered cord syndrome in adulthood.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The standard treatment for tethered cord syndrome (operative vs nonoperative management) that presents in adulthood remains controversial. A comparative study of tethered cord syndrome in adulthood is needed. A retrospective chart-based analysis. Patients admitted to Gulhane Military Medical Academy Department of Neurosurgery for management of caudal spinal cord tethering from June 1999 through December 2006 (N = 22). Conus level was normal in 1 patient with split cord malformation and dermal sinus. Tight terminal filum was found in 21 patients, including postrepair myelomeningocele tethered cord in 4, lipomyelomeningocele/meningocele in 8, split cord malformation in 3, dermal sinus in 7, and syringomyelia in 3. The most common complaints were back pain (15 patients, 68.1%), bladder dysfunction (8, 36.3%), fecal incontinence (2, 9.09%), and leg pain (7, 31.8%). One patient had hydrocephalus (4.5%). Ten of 22 patients underwent surgery; 8 of 10 patients had detethering; and 12 patients refused surgery. Postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage requiring reinforcement sutures occurred in 1 patient. There were no infectious complications. Neurologic status and outcomes were compared with preoperative findings. Some patients refuse surgery despite severe neurologic disturbances. Neurosurgeons should fully explain the risks and benefits of surgery for tethered cord to the patient and family. A much larger and prospective randomized series is needed to determine the effects of operative vs nonoperative management of tethered cord syndrome in adulthood.The journal of spinal cord medicine 02/2008; 31(3):272-8. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tethering of the spinal cord has been a recognized cause of neurological symptoms in pediatric patients and is increasingly being recognized as a cause of symptoms in adults as well. The pathophysiology surrounding spinal cord tethering has begun to be understood in the pediatric population but is still unclear in adult patients. Using a PubMed database literature search, the authors reviewed the pathology and pathophysiology surrounding the tethered spinal cord, focusing particularly on the pathophysiology of adult tethered cord syndrome (TCS). Experimental data obtained in pediatric patients at surgery and in animal models indicate that spinal cord tethering causes a reduction in spinal cord blood flow and dysfunction of neuronal mitochondrial terminal oxidase. Retrospective analyses of patients undergoing surgery for adult TCS show that many adults developed symptoms following an event that could stretch the spinal cord, while others did not. Many patients also were found to have structural lesions in addition to a tethered spinal cord at diagnosis. Both adult and pediatric TCSs are likely the result of a relative lack of blood flow to the spinal cord, causing dysfunction in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. The likely reason the syndrome present later and differently in adults is that a secondary threshold of tension or a cumulative effect of repetitive, transient tension is placed on the cord before symptoms are recognized.Neurosurgical FOCUS 07/2010; 29(1):E2. DOI:10.3171/2010.3.FOCUS1080 · 2.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Symptom response to spinal cord untethering, and the impact of duraplasty and scoliosis on retethering, are poorly understood in tethering after myelomeningocele (MMC) repair. In this retrospective study, the authors examined the outcomes of children who developed first-time spinal cord tethering following MMC repair. The response of symptoms to untethering and the role of duraplasty and scoliosis in retethering are explored. The authors performed a review of 54 children with first-time symptomatic spinal cord tethering following MMC repair to determine the impact of untethering on symptoms, the impact of dural repair type on retethering, and the role of scoliosis on the prevalence and time to retethering. The average patient age was 10.3 ± 4.9 years, and 44% were males. The most common presenting symptoms of tethered cord syndrome were urinary (87%), motor (80%), gait (78%), and sensory (61%) dysfunction. The average postoperative time to symptom improvement was 2.02 months for sensory symptoms, 3.21 months for pain, 3.50 months for urinary symptoms, and 4.48 months for motor symptoms, with sensory improvement occurring significantly earlier than motor improvement (p = 0.02). At last follow-up (an average of 47 months), motor symptoms were improved in 26%, maintained in 62%, and worsened in 11%; for sensory symptoms, these rates were 26%, 71%, and 3%, respectively; for pain, 28%, 65%, and 7%, respectively; and for urinary symptoms, 17%, 76%, and 7%, respectively. There was no difference in symptom response with type of dural repair (primary closure vs duraplasty). Symptomatic retethering occurred in 17 (31%) of 54 patients, but duration of symptoms, age at surgery, and type of dural repair were not associated with retethering. Scoliosis was not associated with an increased prevalence of retethering, but was associated with significantly earlier retethering (32.5 vs 61.1 months; p = 0.042) in patients who underwent additional untethering operations. Symptomatic retethering is a common event after MMC repair. In the authors' experience, sensory improvements occur sooner than motor improvements following initial untethering. Symptom response rates were not altered by type of dural closure. Scoliosis was associated with significantly earlier retethering and should be kept in mind when caring for individuals who have had previous MMC repair.Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics 11/2010; 6(5):498-505. DOI:10.3171/2010.8.PEDS09491 · 1.37 Impact Factor