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Thread: Cauda Equina

  1. #1

    Cauda Equina

    Dr. Young,
    Since the spinal cord in humans ends at the L2 vertibral level, what would be the case if a person had fractures of the transverse process(left side) of L2, L3 and L4 ? Would there be the same symtoms if the roots were damaged as in the main spinal cord, and would there be treatment to correct nerve damage at the L2 - L4 level? What tests are there to see if there was nerve damage as a result of fracture to L2,3,4 ? I really need to check this out, because it was noted in my original x-ray reports, but because of the C7 injury and other internal injuries, these fractures were overlooked. Also what is a capula?? Fractured also! Thank you. LJW

  2. #2
    Fractures of L3, 4, 5, etc. can indeed cause damage to the cauda equina. The way that a neurologist would tell whether the spinal roots were injured is to test your reflexes. A tendon tap, such as just below your patella (kneecap) initiates a knee jerk reflex by sending a sensory signal to the spinal cord which activates motoneurons to tell muscle that is being tapped to jerk. Loss of the left knee jerk would suggest injury to your left L4 root. Loss of the right ankle jerk would suggest injury to your right S1 root, etc. A rough summary can be found at

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