Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Conus Medullaris Syndrome Treatment

Treatment for conus medullaris syndrome depends on the cause. If an injury has caused a structure in the spine to place sudden pressure on the conus medullaris, then surgery to repair the damaged structures and relieve pressure on the conus medullaris must be performed within 6 hours. In addition, intravenous (IV) corticosteroids must be given promptly, usually within 8 hours of the injury. Emergent surgery is not required in a person who has a chronic condition that has resulted in slowly progressive pressure against the conus medullaris.

Treatment options for conus medullaris syndrome include:

  • Corticosteroids for conus medullaris syndrome:
  • Surgery for conus medullaris syndrome:
    • To relieve pressure on the conus medullaris
  • Spinal fusion:
    • Bone grafts are used to bond two vertebrae together
    • This stabilizes the spine

Conus Medullaris Syndrome Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of conus medullaris syndrome.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Conus Medullaris Syndrome Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat conus medullaris syndrome:

Continue to Conus Medullaris Syndrome Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2011 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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