Possible complications in surgery for untethering the spinal cord will depend on the complexity of the problem. In some cases, a minor incision may suffice. On others, a more involved procedure may be required, such as in the case of a fatty mass or tumour causing the tethered cord. In case of a fatty mass or tumour enveloping sensitive nerve roots responsible for strength and sensations in the legs, bowel or bladder, the risks may be higher.
Post-surgery, recovery of muscle and bladder function will also depend upon the condition of your child’s tethered cord prior to surgery. Complications such as infection, bleeding, damage to the spinal cord, or nerves responsible for bladder or bowel function are possible. In many cases, repeat surgery may be required as the child grows further.
You must make sure that you discuss your child’s individual case and all these possible complications in detail with the neurologist. Weigh the risks of surgery against the benefit of helping your child lead a normal, active life to make an informed decision before going ahead with treatment.