What is it?

Caudal regression syndrome (CRS) is a condition that affects how the fetus develops in the uterus. This condition can affect the:
* Lower back
* Legs
* Urinary tract
* Gastrointestinal tract
* Genitals
Infants diagnosed with this condition might experience challenges walking, pooping and peeing.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Sacral Agenesis

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of caudal regression syndrome affect the lower half of your child’s body and range from mild to severe. Your child could experience a few symptoms or several symptoms depending on the severity of their diagnosis.

Skeletal system symptoms
Symptoms of caudal regression syndrome can affect how your child’s bones develop, including:
* Bones of their spinal cord and lower spine (vertebrae) have an abnormal shape or are missing.
* A fluid-filled sac forms near their spinal cord where their vertebrae didn’t completely close around their spinal cord.
* Curvature of their spine (scoliosis).
* Small hip bones.
* Irregularly shaped chest, which causes breathing problems.
* Flat and dimpled buttocks.
* Minimal feeling in the lower half of their body.

Infants with underdeveloped bones in their legs caused by caudal regression syndrome may have an irregular stance that can affect how they walk. This could include:
* Frog-leg position: Your child’s legs bend with their knees pointed outward and their feet in line with their hips.
* Clubfeet: Your child’s feet turn inward.
* Calcaneovalgus: Your child’s feet turn outward and upward.

Organ symptoms
Symptoms of caudal regression syndrome can affect the development and function of your child’s renal system, digestive and urinary tract. Symptoms could include:
* Abnormally shaped kidneys, a missing kidney or the kidneys fuse together. This can cause kidney failure.
* More tubes than necessary take urine from their kidneys to their bladder (ureteral duplication).
* Frequent urinary tract infections.
* Their bladder comes out of an opening in their abdominal wall (bladder exstrophy).
* Bladder nerves that control the function of their bladder don’t send signals to their brain to work as expected (neurogenic bladder).
* Lack of bladder or bowel control.
* Constipation.
* Blocked anal opening (imperforate anus).

Caudal regression syndrome can also affect the development and function of your child’s reproductive organs. Symptoms that affect their reproductive organs include:
* The opening of their urethra is on the underside of their penis (hypospadias).
* Their testes don’t descend (cryptorchidism).
* The connection between the lower part of their large intestine (rectum) and their vagina causes bowel contents to leak out and pass through their vagina (rectovaginal fistula).
* Reproductive organs didn’t develop (genital agenesis).

Symptoms of caudal regression syndrome can also affect other internal organs in your child’s body, including:
* Twisting of their large intestine.
* A bulge in their groin or lower abdomen (inguinal hernia).
* Congenital heart conditions.


Your healthcare provider can sometimes diagnose caudal regression syndrome before your child is born during a prenatal ultrasound. During this test, they’ll look for symptoms of the condition that affect the development of the lower half of your child’s body.

Once your child is born, your provider might offer additional tests to learn more about the extent of their diagnosis. Tests could include an imaging test, like an X-ray or an MRI, to examine the effects of the condition on your child’s bones and organs.


Treatment for caudal regression syndrome is symptomatic and unique to each child diagnosed with the condition and could include:
* Surgery to repair skeletal system symptoms or symptoms that affect your child’s bones.
* Surgery to improve the function of your child’s genitals, organs, urinary tract and/or bowels.
* Medications to reduce symptoms.
* Using a ventilator to help with breathing.
* Wearing a brace, using prosthetics or assisted mobility devices to help your child move.
Your child may need more than one surgery to manage their symptoms as they grow. Based on your child’s symptoms, they might need to start treatment with medications or surgery soon after they’re born or during early infancy.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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