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October 1956

Tight Filum Terminale

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Fellow in Neurosurgery, Mayo Foundation (Dr. Jones); Section of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation (Dr. Love). The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(4):556-566. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280040010002

Few congenital anomalies of the nervous system are amenable to surgical intervention. In a small number of cases such anatomic malformations are compatible with normal or near normal function until changes in growth produce locomotive or sphincteric disturbances or both. A review of the records of 442 patients with spina bifida occulta seen at the Mayo Clinic in the past decade disclosed six (Cases 1 to 6) with tight filum terminale.

Historical Aspects  Tulpuis in 1641 was the first to use the term "spina bifida." Mention of such anomalies is found, however, as early as the writings of Hippocrates.* Since then the ebb and flow of thought on this most perplexing of biologic phenomena is wondrous, but very little concerns the anchoring filum terminale.Fuchs † coined the word "myelodysplasia" to explain the relationship of spina bifida, enuresis, and deformities of the feet. De Vries3 suggested the use of

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