Spinal Cord Injury: Glossary

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GlossaryAutonomous
Not under voluntary control, such as reflexes.

Central Cord Syndrome
Hematoma or contusion in the center of the spinal cord that can develop following a cervical hyperextension injury.

Hematoma
Localized semisolid mass of blood.

Lesions
A wound or injury creating a change in tissues.

Motor
Response to a stimulus, such as a nerve signal, to a muscle to contract.

Myelogram
A diagnostic test to identify spinal cord lesions. The subarachnoid space of the spinal cord is injected with a contract medium, followed by x-rays.

Proprioception
The sense of body position.

Sensory
Relating to sensation: feeling, pressure, temperature.

Spinal Cord
The spinal cord carries the nerves affecting body function. It is the pathway for impulses passing to and from the brain. The spinal cord is protected by cerebralspinal fluid and is surrounded by membranes, termed meninges, the dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater. The gray matter, resembling a butterfly, is located in the center section of the cord. The gray matter is surrounded by myelinated (protective sheath) white matter composing the outer portion of the spinal cord.

Updated on: 09/14/15
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Spinal Cord Injury (SCI): Aftermath and Diagnosis
Michael G. Fehlings, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS
This glossary summarizes many of the key medcial terms of importance in understanding the anatomy, physiology and impact of spinal cord injury.
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Spinal Cord Injury (SCI): Aftermath and Diagnosis

The spinal cord does not have to be severed to cause paraylsis. Even bruising the spinal cord can cause symptoms.
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