Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Conus Medullaris Syndrome Overview

What is conus medullaris syndrome?
A person with conus medullaris syndrome has symptoms that occur when the nerves in the conus medullaris malfunction. The malfunction is caused by a structure (e.g. hematoma, tumor, etc.) that places pressure on the conus medullaris. The conus medullaris is the end of the spinal cord, which is located in the lower back. Nerves that pass through the conus medullaris control the bladder, bowel, genitals and the legs.

What are the symptoms of conus medullaris syndrome?
Symptoms of conus medullaris syndrome include low back pain, numbness in the groin or inner thighs, leg numbness, and foot numbness. Other symptoms include leg weakness, loss of bladder control, difficulty walking, and impotence.

How does the doctor treat conus medullaris syndrome?
The treatment of conus medullaris syndrome depends on the underlying cause: Treatment for conus medullaris syndrome may include intravenous corticosteroids, radiation therapy, and surgery.

Continue to Conus Medullaris Syndrome Risk Factors

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Conus Medullaris Syndrome References
  1. Kaiboriboon K, Olsen TJ, Hayat GR. Cauda equina and conus medullaris syndrome in sarcoidosis. Neurologist. 2005 May;11(3):179-83. [15860141]
  2. Kirshblum SC, Groah SL, McKinley WO: Spinal cord injury medicine. 1. Etiology, classification, and acute medical management. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002; 83(3 Suppl 1): S50-7, S90-8. [11973697]
  3. Ku A, Lachmann E, Tunkel R: Neurosarcoidosis of the conus medullaris and cauda equina presenting as paraparesis: case report and literature review. Paraplegia 1996 Feb; 34(2): 116-20. [8835038]
  4. McDonald JW, Sadowsky C: Spinal-cord injury. Lancet 2002; 359(9304): 417-25. [11844532]
  5. Sampson JH, Cashman RE, Nashold BS Jr, Friedman AH. Dorsal root entry zone lesions for intractable pain after trauma to the conus medullaris and cauda equina. J Neurosurg. 1995 Jan;82(1):28-34. [7815130]
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