C-Spine

Central Cord Syndrome

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Central Cord Syndrome, Central Spinal Cord Syndrome

  • Epidemiology
  1. Most common partial cord syndrome
  • Pathophysiology
  1. Hyperextension of the Cervical Spine (e.g. fall onto face)
  2. Edema and Hemorrhage into the central cord (gray matter and lateral Corticospinal tracts)
  3. Images
    1. CordSyndrome.jpg
  • Causes
  1. Older patients (most common)
    1. Cervical Spondylosis
    2. Cervical SpineOsteoarthritis
  2. Athletes
    1. Hyperextension with ligamentum flavum buckling
  3. Other mechanisms
    1. Unrestrained in Motor Vehicle Accident
  • Signs
  1. Bilateral motor weakness
    1. Upper extremities affected more than the lower extremities
    2. Distal extremities affected more than proximal extremities
  2. Sensory deficiency
    1. Variable
  • Prognosis
  1. Better than with other partial cord syndromes
  • References
  1. Decker in Chorley and Bachur (2014) Overview of Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries..., UpToDate, Wolters-Kluwer
  2. Wagner (1997) Emerg Med Clin North Am 15:699-711 [PubMed]