Endoscopic spinal cord untethering using a 1 cm skin incision technique in pediatrics: a technical case report

BMC Pediatr. 2023 Nov 29;23(1):604. doi: 10.1186/s12887-023-04390-7.


Background: Spinal cord untethering by sectioning the filum terminale is commonly performed in tethered cord syndrome patients with minor abnormalities such as filar lipoma, thickened filum terminale, and low conus medullaris. Our endoscopic surgical technique, using the interlaminar approach, allows for sectioning the filum terminale through a very small skin incision. To our knowledge, this procedure has not been previously reported. This is the first case report involving a 1 cm skin incision.

Case presentation: A 9-month-old male patient was referred to our neurosurgical department due to a coccygeal dimple. MRI revealed a thickened fatty filum. After considering the treatment options for this patient, the parents agreed to spinal cord untethering. A midline 1 cm skin incision was made at the L4/5 vertebral level. Untethering by sectioning the filum terminale was performed by full endoscopic surgery using the interlaminar approach. The procedure was uneventful and there were no postoperative complications.

Conclusions: In terms of visibility and minimizing invasiveness, our surgical technique of using the interlaminar approach with endoscopy allows for untethering by sectioning the filum terminale through a very small skin incision.

Keywords: Endoscopic untethering; Filum Terminale; Spinal lipoma; Tethered cord syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cauda Equina* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cauda Equina* / surgery
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Tube Defects* / diagnostic imaging
  • Neural Tube Defects* / surgery
  • Spinal Cord