The spinal cord begins at the bottom of the brain stem (at the area called the medulla oblongata) and ends in the lower back, as it tapers to form a cone called the conus medullaris.
At which level does the spinal cord terminate?
The spinal cord terminates in the lumbar spine. The exact point of termination varies among individuals; most commonly, it terminates at the level of the L1 or L2 vertebrae.
Where does the spinal cord end in a fetus?
During normal fetal development, the conus medullaris (CM), which is situated at the sacral region of the vertebral column, ascends to its final location at birth proximal to the L2 vertebra7; however, the precise timing of this ascent is unknown and disputable, and the literature provides controversial data.
Why does the spinal cord end at L2?
Although the spinal cord cell bodies end around the L1/L2 vertebral level, the spinal nerves for each segment exit at the level of the corresponding vertebra. For the nerves of the lower spinal cord, this means that they exit the vertebral column much lower (more caudally) than their roots.
What is the significance of spinal cord enlargements?
Two regions of the spinal cord are enlarged to accommodate the greater number of nerve cells and connections needed to process information related to the upper and lower limbs (see Figure 1.10B).
Can spina bifida be corrected?
Currently, there is no cure for spina bifida, but there are a number of treatments available to help manage the disease and prevent complications. In some cases, if diagnosed before birth, the baby can undergo surgery while still in the womb in an effort to repair or minimize the spinal defect.
Can spina bifida cause problems later in life?
Individuals born with spina bifida (myelomeningocele) face serious physical and social consequences, including paralysis, insensate skin, and potential social ostracism associated with loss of bowel and bladder control. Over time, muscle paralysis can produce contractures, joint dislocations, and spinal deformity.
What are the chances of having a second baby with spina bifida?
However, parents who already have had a child with spina bifida or another neural tube defect have a 4% increased risk of having a second child with spina bifida. Parents of two children with spina bifida have about a 10% chance of having another child with this condition.
Is spinal cord injury a disability?
Anyone with a spinal cord injury can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits as long as the injury has lasted at least three months and is expected to make it impossible for you to work for at least 12 months.
What part of the body protects spinal cord?
A column of bones called vertebrae make up the spine (spinal column). The vertebrae protect the spinal cord, a long, fragile structure contained in the spinal canal, which runs through the center of the spine.