What is the pathophysiology of conus medullaris syndrome?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

The conus medullaris syndrome, cauda equina syndrome, and spinal cord concussion are briefly discussed below.

Conus medullaris syndrome is a sacral cord injury, with or without involvement of the lumbar nerve roots. This syndrome is characterized by areflexia in the bladder, bowel, and to a lesser degree, lower limbs, whereas the sacral segments occasionally may show preserved reflexes (eg, bulbocavernosus and micturition reflexes). Motor and sensory loss in the lower limbs is variable.


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