Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Conus Medullaris Syndrome Anatomy

To better understand conus medullaris syndrome, it helps to understand the anatomy of the spinal cord.

Spinal Cord Anatomy

  • 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: Dec 8, 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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