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Thread: Conus above t12?

  1. #1

    Conus above t12?

    I got an MRI report that said my conus is above t12-what can this mean?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by truebansidhe
    I got an MRI report that said my conus is above t12-what can this mean?
    The conus is usually located at L1. The fact that it is above T12 may be due to a shortened spinal cord or a longer spinal column. About 10% of people have a 13th thoracic segment (normally there are 12). If the radiologist failed to count the thoracic segments, this may be the reason why you have the conus at T12.

    Wise.

  3. #3
    I had a burst fracture of L1 and was lucky to have a 'conus above T12'. I ended up having a cauda equina injury rather than a true spinal cord injury that would have been much worse. There is anatomic variation as to the level of the conus.
    jon

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by arndog
    I had a burst fracture of L1 and was lucky to have a 'conus above T12'. I ended up having a cauda equina injury rather than a true spinal cord injury that would have been much worse. There is anatomic variation as to the level of the conus.
    jon
    jon, yes, it is lucky that your conus was not injured. A cauda equina injury itself is of course nothing to sneeze at but better than a conus injury.

    The incidence of spinal cord injury in the United States is about 35 cases per million. The incidence of conus medullaris and cauda equina injuries is about 2 cases per million (Source).

    At birth, the conus is usually at between L2 and L3 in 90% of newborns and, as the spinal column grows, the conus ascends to L1 in 92% of babies (Source).

    In over 98% of people, the conus occurs at or below the T12-L1 space. Only 1.5% occur at T12. Conus above T12 is rare.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/405672_6
    Reimann and Anson [62] demonstrated in an autopsy study in the normal adult population that the spinal cord terminates at or above the inferior aspect of the L-2 vertebral body in 95% of the population and that it terminates at or above the L1-2 disc space in 57% of the population (Figure 9).
    Wise.

  5. #5
    Dr. Wise - So 1.5 percent have a high conus . Lucky me. I also had an open pelvic fracture with septic shock and ARDS with a survival rate of 3 percent. So here I am with 2 lucky events, but I would have been luckier if the accident had not happened. But I am a walking with just a cane para - could have been worse....jon

  6. #6
    what exactly IS the conus and what does it do,or why is it there at all,you know what i mean? i am still very confused as to what this conus actually is. doc wise?? thanks for any clarity. marcia

  7. #7
    Marcia - all the conus is is the end of the spinal cord. It is called conus because the shape tapers down and looks like a cone. So in it are the cell bodies of the peripheral nerves that leave the spinal cord to go to the legs and pelvis. All it is is the end of the spinal cord.
    In it are the nerve cell bodies for the 'sacred' sacral nerves that innervate a lot of important things, bladder, genitals, anal sphincter....
    jon

  8. #8
    thank you, thank you, thank you, now it all makes sense. now that T12 thing REALLY sounds odd. thats high. its amazing in how knowing stuff just really helps with understanding things. i read thru some of the articles wise had there and STILL didn't get just what that conus actually was. i do appreciate the explanation arndog,really. marcia

  9. #9
    Jon

    I was a little depressed to read Dr. Young's data on incidence of SCI as 35 per million. Since only about fifteen percent of those get any central pain, I am going to be one lonely person if I try to talk about it. Five in one milllion people will want to hear about it. Of course there are other causes for Central Pain (stroke, MS, brain injury etc). Bonica estimated 100,000 cases of Central Pain in the U.S. Even if I alone were the only person with it, I have enough pain of sufficient varieties to make good a syndrome, all by myself. I had always hoped to research others, not myself. Everyone on earth thinks they are too lucky to get an SCI. Luck turns out to be fickle, however, and completely untrustworthy*.

    I never thought I would utter the words to anyone on this thread that "You are lucky" but I guess I may have to make an exception in your case, based on your post. You alone will be the judge of whether your pain is too severe for you to qualify.

    ________________________________

    *Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit. ~R.E. Shay
    Last edited by dejerine; 08-06-2010 at 02:57 PM.

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