Spinal Dysraphism/Tethered Cord

Spinal dysraphism is a collective term for neurological disorders related to spinal cord malformations present at birth (congenital). These disorders include tethered spinal cord syndrome (“tethered cord”) and spina bifida.

The expert team of doctors at UT Southwestern’s Spine Center specialize in all available evidence-based treatments for spinal dysraphism – both medical and surgical. We offer our patients the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies and techniques, including specialized spine imaging.

When surgery is recommended, our skilled surgeons can perform procedures minimally invasively in many cases to reduce recovery time.

Our multidisciplinary approach gets you access to neurosurgeons, orthopaedists, and other specialists with one call. We strive to coordinate, facilitate, and expedite patient care, and save our patients time.

Our goal is to partner with our patients in their care, get them back to health as soon as possible, and help them achieve the best outcomes.


If we suspect that you have spinal dysraphism, we will conduct a physical examination and order spine imaging studies. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to diagnose spinal dysraphism.


After diagnosis, we’ll make sure you see the right experts to treat your specific symptoms. Our experienced Spine Center specialists treat spinal dysraphism with therapies that include:

  • Neurosurgeons
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Physical therapists
  • Urologists

We will create a care plan that minimizes the number of visits you need to make while also providing you with the support you need.

Clinical Trials

UT Southwestern conducts clinical trials aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of spinal dysraphism. Talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial is right for you.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a specialist in spinal dysraphism at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.