Occult lesions of the spine in children are a rare but recognizable cause of neurogenic dysfunction involving the lower extremities, and lower urinary and gastrointestinal tracts. We report the preoperative and postoperative urodynamic findings in 40 children with varying spinal abnormalities. Of these patients 28 were neonates or infants (average age 8.7 months) and 12 were older children (average age 11.7 years). Preoperative urodynamic testing revealed normal function in 18 of 28 children (64 per cent) in the younger age group in contrast to 1 of 12 (8 per cent) in the older age group. Of the 10 infants with abnormal studies postoperative urodynamic findings returned to normal in 6, while 2 others remained abnormal but were improved. In contrast, of 11 older children with abnormal preoperative evaluations 3 (27 per cent) reverted to normal postoperatively. The neurourological changes seen in these occult lesions are variable, may occur at any age, are progressive and are potentially reversible by surgical correction but this reversibility diminishes with age.