Conus and Cauda Equina Injuries. Injuries to the spinal column at L2 or lower will damage the tip of the spinal cord, called the conus, or the spray of spinal roots that are descending to the appropriate spinal vertebral levels to exit the spinal canal or the caudal equina. Please note that the spinal roots for L2 through S5 all descend in the cauda equina and injury to these roots would disrupt sensory and motor fibers from these segments. Strictly speaking, the spinal roots are part of the peripheral nervous system as opposed to the spinal cord. Peripheral nerves are supposed to be able to regenerate to some extent. However, the spinal roots are different from peripheral nerves in two respects. First, the neurons from which sensory axons emanate are situated in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) which are located just outside the spinal column. One branch of the DRG goes into the spinal cord (called the central branch) and the other is the peripheral branch.
There was a significant improvement in the FIM from admission to discharge (mean change ± , <) in the MSCC cohort. NT-SCI patients demonstrated a higher FIM efficiency ( ± vs. ± , <) and higher total ( ± vs. ± , <) FIM gains relative to MSCC cases. However, there were no differences between the MSCC and NT-SCI cohorts in length of stay ( ± vs. ± , P = ) or discharge FIM ( ± vs. ± , P = ). Three-month, 1-year, and 3-year survival rates in the MSCC and NT-SCI cohorts were % vs. %, % vs. %, and % vs. %, respectively. The majority (%) of patients with MSCC was discharged home and met their rehabilitation goals (%) at comparable rates to patients with NT-SCI ( and %).