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Orthopade. 2008 Apr;37(4):347-55. doi: 10.1007/s00132-008-1232-6.

[Spinal disorders and associated CNS anomalies - tethered cord and Arnold-Chiari malformation].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Deutschland.


Tethered cord syndrome (TCS) and the Chiari malformation (CM) are generally related to congenital malformations, but both entities can be acquired.TCS often presents with progressing sensory and motor symptoms that can be attributed to increased tension of the spinal cord. Fixation of the spinal cord can occur congenitally (primary TCS) or in association with other intraspinal pathologies or postoperative scarring (secondary TCS). Exact diagnosis in the adult can be difficult if symptoms are interpreted as being related to degenerative disorders of the spine. In the presence of neurological symptoms, surgery is indicated. A preventive surgical procedure in asymptomatic patients is discussed controversially in the literature and is established in TCS patients only with correction of a scoliosis. However, most patients suffering from TCS benefit from surgical treatment.CM can be divided into four abnormal alterations of the posterior fossa, with most cases being of types I and II. In adults, Chiari type I is most common. Chiari I may present congenitally; however, it is also secondarily observed following lumboperitoneal shunting or in association with hydrocephalus. Surgical intervention is recommended depending on the extent of herniated tissue and the neurological symptoms. The optimal surgical procedure is still controversial. Most centers recommend bony decompression with dural graft extension for Chiari I.The appropriate treatment of both complex disorders requires a close and critical interdisciplinary approach in order to offer patients an individually adapted therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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