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Orthopedics. 2012 Jun;35(6):e899-902. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20120525-31.

MRI study of the position of the conus medullaris in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Substantial data exist from cadaveric and magnetic resonance imaging studies regarding the position of the conus medullaris in normally developed adults. However, no large studies have documented the position of the conus medullaris in patients with diagnosed lumbar spinal stenosis. To goal of the current study was to determine the position of the conus medullaris within a living adult population with existing pathology of lumbar spinal stenosis. In a retrospective study, 234 patients (110 women and 124 men; mean age, 48.8 years) with diagnosed lumbar spinal stenosis had their T2-weighted, midline, sagittal, spin-echo magnetic resonance imaging studies compared to assess and confirm the position of the conus medullaris. A straight line perpendicular to the long axis of the spinal cord in the median sagittal sequence was subtended to the adjacent vertebra or disk space, and the position was defined in relation to the vertebra or disk space. The conus medullaris position was labeled in relation to the upper, middle, and lower segments of the adjacent vertebral body or the adjacent disk space and assigned numerical values from 1 to 12. The position of the conus medullaris in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis followed a normal distribution. The mean conus medullaris position was mainly within the lower third of the L1 vertebral body (ranged from the middle third of T12 to the upper third of L3). No significant differences existed between men and women with lumbar spinal stenosis. The conus medullaris position was found to be unaffected by the pathology of lumbar spinal stenosis.

Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

PMID:
22691664
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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