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Tethered Cord Syndrome

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is tethered cord syndrome (TCS)?

TCS means your spinal cord is pulled down and tied (tethered) within your spinal column. The spinal cord normally moves freely within the spinal column. When it is tethered, it pulls during activity, causing pain and other problems.

Vertebral Column

What are the signs and symptoms of TCS?

Any of the following may worsen as you get older, play sports, or during pregnancy:

What causes or increases my risk for TCS?

How is TCS diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask when your symptoms began and if they are getting worse. He or she may press or touch parts of your back. Tell him or her if you feel pain, or if an area is numb, tender, or tingling. Tell your provider about your medical history, including cancer, surgery, or injury in your spinal column. He or she may also use any of the following:

How is TCS treated?

How can I manage TCS?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.