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E. Carvell, PhD, PT
University of Pittsburgh
The adult spinal cord begins at the medulla-spinal cord transition at the foramen magnum and ends as the conus medullaris at the L1- L2 vertebral level. Below the conus, spinal roots continue caudally as the cauda equina. Lumbar and sacral roots of the cauda equina exit at the appropriate orthopedic level. (see Appendix p 230) Like the Brain in the cranial vault, the spinal cord and the cauda equina are surrounded by three meninges (dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater) & cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A spinal tap at the L4-5 level is used to measure the pressure and constituents of the CSF. There are 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, and 5 sacral segments in the human spinal cord.
SPINAL CORD: IN SITU
Appendix p 230