Dermal Sinus Tracts of the Spine

Scott Elton, M.D., and W. Jerry Oakes, M.D, Departments of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama

Neurosurg Focus. 2001;10(1) 

In This Article

Clinical Material and Methods

We retrospectively reviewed the medical records, as well as the radiographic and operative reports of 34 consecutive adult patients who presented with congenital TCS between 1971 and 1995. All of the patients underwent surgical untethering of the spinal cord as previously described in the literature;[9] none of these was a repeated surgery. Because the study population consisted of congenital, not acquired, spinal cord tethering, no patients with postmyelomeningocele tethered cord were included in this study. One patient who had presented at the age of 70 years was not considered to be a surgical candidate and was excluded.

The data were analyzed for type of presentation and indications for surgery. Surgical results were collected from the patients' discharge summaries as well as subsequent clinic notes; the follow-up period ranged from 1 week to 17 years, with a mean of 4 years and a median of 2 years. In addition, long-term follow-up interviews were obtained by telephone in 28 of the 34 patients, in which a standard set of questions was asked. The follow-up time period for these interviews ranged from 1 to 25 years, with a mean of 8.6 and a median of 8.5 years.