Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cauda Equina Syndrome Anatomy

To better understand cauda equina syndrome, it helps to understand the anatomy of the spinal cord.

  • Front view of the spine and spinal cord
  • Cross sectional view
  • The conus medullaris is the end of the spinal cord in the back.
  • The spinal cord ends in the lumbar spine at the level of L1 to L2
  • The cauda equina is a bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord.
    • Nerves of the cauda equina supply the bladder, rectum, perineum, and legs.

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cauda Equina Syndrome References
  1. Binder DK, Schmidt MH, Weinstein PR. Lumbar spinal stenosis. Semin Neurol. 2002 Jun;22(2):157-66. [12524561]
  2. Hussain SA, Gullan RW, Chitnavis BP. Cauda equina syndrome: outcome and implications for management. Br J Neurosurg. 2003 Apr;17(2):164-7. [12820760]
  3. Jensen RL. Cauda equina syndrome as a postoperative complication of lumbar spine surgery. Neurosurg Focus. 2004 Jun 15;16(6):e7. [15202877]
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