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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: hydrocephalus in myelomeningocele

 NAHID - Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:14 pm

My 5 year Son was born with Spinal Bifida and hydrocephalus due to myelomeningocele. He was operated on the 3rd Day and a shunt was installed to provide a continuous drain for cerebro-spinal fluid produced in the brain. The shunt was installed from head to abdoman.
He is healthy and his mental status is normal but he cant stand and walk because his right leg has NO sensation while his left leg has DDH. Since birth he cant control and feel his urine and stool.
Recently a Neuru Surgen recommeneded Spinal Cord surgery for tethered spinal cord. The MRI Report says " Widened lumbar spinal canal with deficient posterior arches of the lumbar and upper sacral vertebral bodies. The spinal cord is tethered."
Doctor said that he could control urine and stool and might even stand after this operation.
Please suggest me whether this to go for this surgery or not, i am very confused, because his previous operations could not make him so.
You can also contact me on

Warm Regards,
Richard Jerry
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:38 pm

User avatar Hello Richard,

Tethered spinal cord is often associated with spina bifida, and it also very well could be causing the loss of control and sensation that's currently a problem for your son and would become a much more serious problem, socially at least, in the future. This surgery, which has a low risk of complication, also gives your son a good chance of recovering some or all of the innervation of the affected area and could make him able to live a very normal, much happier life than otherwise. Since the surgery can hardly cause any problems that already do not exist, the risk/benefit ratio is pretty good and if it were me, I would definitely opt for having it done. I won't recommend to you whether or not to agree to this, but have given you the facts with which you can make an informed decision and am willing to say I would favor it if it were my child. I hope this gives you the information you need to make a decision you'll both be happy with. Good luck to you and to your son with this and please do follow up with us here as needed.

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