What is the role of radiography in the evaluation of cauda equina and conus medullaris syndrome?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Segun Toyin Dawodu, JD, MD, MS, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Plain radiography is unlikely to be helpful in cauda equina syndrome but may be performed in cases of traumatic injury or in search of destructive changes, disk-space narrowing, or spondylolysis. For example, plain radiographs of the lumbosacral spine may depict early changes in vertebral erosions secondary to tumors and spina bifida.

Chest radiography is indicated to rule out a pulmonary source of pathology that could affect the lumbosacral spine (eg, malignant tumor, tuberculosis). Follow-up chest CT may be required.


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