Anatomy of the Spinal Cord

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Gross Anatomy of Spinal Cord:


Adult: stretches from the foramen magnum to L1, L2. Dura ends at the level of S1 in sacral canal.

Embryo: spinal cord fills the whole vertebral canal.

Features/Components of a Cross Section:

1. Posterior median septum; anterior median fissure.

2. Central canal.

3. Grey and white matter (latter for ascending and descending pathways).

4. Anterior and posterior grey horns.

5. Anterior, posterior and lateral funiculi (white matter).

Enlargements: Cervical and lumbar.

Caudal aspect: Conus medullaris is the tapered part and filum terminale the termination. Inserts on the first-coccygeal vertebra, via the coccygeal ligament.

Meninges: coverings of spinal cord.

1. Spinal dura (the extradural space is used for epidural anaesthesia.

2. Spinal arachnoid matter.

3. Spinal pia mater. The CCF is found in the subarachnoid space found between the pia and the arachnoid. Distally, spinal roots are found in the lumbar cistern.

Cord Supports:

Denticulate ligaments i.e. pia is attached to the dura at regular intervals by the serrated ligamentum denticulatum.

Cord Indentations:

1. Ventral median fissure.

2. Dorsal median sulcus.

Spinal Nerve Attachments: (31 bilaterally paired):

1. Cervical (8).

2. Thoracic (12).

3. Lumbar (5).

4. Sacral (5).

5. Coccygeal (1).

Chapters on Spinal Cord:

1. Anatomy of the Spinal Cord
2. Ascending Spinal Tracts
3. Blood Supply of Spinal Cord
4. Notes on Corticospinal Tracts
5. Cross Section of Spinal Cord
6. Descending Spinal Tracts
7. Grey Matter of Spinal Cord
8. Summary of Spinal Nerves

Additional Reading:

Basic Neurology

1. Peripheral Nervous System
2. Central Nervous System
3. The Ventricular System
4. The Spinal Cord
5. The Brain Stem
6. The Cerebellum
7. Visual Pathways
8. Diencephalon
9. Basal Ganglia
10. Cerebral Cortex
11. Sleep Disorders
12. Autonomic Nervous System
13. Cranial Nerves and Parasympathetic Ganglia
14. Cells of the Nervous System
15. Cerebrospinal fluid
16. Additional short notes on Cerebrum
17. Functions and Diseases of Cerebrum
18. Subcortical Grey Matter
19. Notes on The Spinal Cord
20. Regulation of Heart Rate by Autonomic Nervous System
21. Action Potentials, Axon Conduction, and Neuromuscular Junction
22. Types of Seizures
23. What is a Cough Reflex?
24. Notes on Congenital Prosopagnosia
25. Findings in Parkinson's Disease
26. Types of Heat Strokes
27. Types of Strokes
28. What is Benign Intracranial Hypertension?
29. What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?
30. Cranial Nerve Locations in Brain Stem
31. What is a Cluster Headache?
32. What is a Subarachnoid Hemorrhage?
33. What is a Tension Headache?

Neurology Videos

1. Video of Neurology Examination in a Clinical Setting

Medical Images

Useful Medical Images & Diagrams (link opens in a new window)

Related Topics

1. Nervous System Disorders
2. Histology of Nervous Tissue
3. Cranial Nerve Reflexes
4. Motor System Examination

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