Tethered Cord

  • Etiology: failure of closure of posterior neural tube
  • Imaging: thick filum terminale, low conus medullaris (conus should be above L2-L3 disc), can still have tethered cord if conus above L2-L3 disc but there is fatty infiltration of filum terminale
  • Clinical: occult skin covered spinal dysraphism, most mild dysraphism

Radiology Cases of Tethered Cord

MRI of tethered cord
Sagittal T1 (left) and T2 (right) MRI of the lumbar spine shows a low-lying conus medullaris of the spinal cord which terminates at S1. The T11/T12 vertebral body areas of low signal intensity on T1 and high signal intensity on T2 were felt to be due to aggressive Schmorl nodes as the patient had no clinical signs of infection.