The spinal cord is an extension of the central nervous system, which at its simplest level contains both descending motor neurons and ascending sensory neurons. It is considered a conduit for all information passed between the body 's periphery and the brain. This therefore means that any injuries that occur to the spinal cord usually have a direct impact on its ability to relay information to the brain from positions at and below the site of the injury itself. Due to the fragile nature of the spinal cord it is housed within the bones of the vertebral column to keep it protected; therefore, most damage to the spinal cord is often a direct result of abnormalities or fractures to the column itself.
The spinal cord consists of 31 segments grouped into 5 levels - cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal (most rostral first). The T10 segment is located on the thoracic level at the height of the umbilicus. The expected result of an injury at this position would result in the loss of motor control to all muscles at and below this point as well as sensory information being sent from peripheral receptors from the same areas. In addition to this it would be expected that sympathetic innervations to the lower gut (including rectum and anus), sex organs, kidneys (and assosiated ducts, ie ureter), adrenals and bladder would be interrupted. This is because the thoracic splanchnic nerves - nerves that carry sympathetic nervous system information - begin to exit the spinal cord at this point.
To understand the consequ...
... middle of paper ...
...otor control to the lower RIGHT side.
Central autonomic descending pathways originating from the hypothalamus and the brainstem supply the sympathetic and parasympathetic information to organs ipsilaterally and would expain any abnormalities in their function on the RIGHThand side. An example of this would be a reflex in bladder that causes it to void is contents at half full since it can no longer be controlled. Another minor descending tract to be consiered is the raphespinal tract which is used in response to pain, however if the LCST is damaged, it makes this tract redundant. The vestibulospinal tract, important for the maintenance of balance would also be comprimised and as muscles in the lower trunk required to keep the centre of gravity in the middle of the body would no longer work, the T10 patient would have difficulty balancing on his/her remaining leg.
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