spinal cord compression

(redirected from Spinal cord compression syndrome)

spinal cord compression

an abnormal and often serious condition resulting from pressure on the spinal cord. The symptoms range from temporary numbness of an extremity to permanent tetraplegia, depending on the cause, severity, and location of the pressure. Causes include spinal fracture, vertebral dislocation, tumor, hemorrhage, and edema associated with contusion. See also herniated disk, spondylolisthesis.


1. the act of pressing upon or together; the state of being pressed together. A specific example is compression plating in fracture repair.
2. in embryology, the shortening or omission of certain developmental stages.
3. see data compression.
Enlarge picture
Compression screws used in fracture repair in horses. By permission from Hinchcliff KW, Kaneps AJ, Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery, Saunders, 2004

compression band
pulled tightly across an animal on an x-ray table to reduce thickness, restrict respiratory movement and restrain the patient. Both ends of the band are fixed to the table and there is a mechanism for tightening it. May be used to apply pressure to an organ such as the urinary bladder to impede filling with excreted dye, but in other applications has the disadvantage of distorting organs and their disposition.
compression/distraction methods
a stress-radiographic method of positioning dogs for the assessment of hip laxity for the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. One radiograph is taken with the femoral heads compressed into the acetabula. The other position is with maximal lateral displacement of the femoral heads using a special device for leverage.
hourglass compression
in wobbler syndrome of Great Dane dogs, characteristic compression of the cervical spinal cord caused by hypertrophy of the annulus fibrosus, hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum and degenerative disease of articular facets.
compression plating
an internal fixation method of treating fractures by the application of plates across the fracture lines and fixing them in place with specially designed screws. The objective is to provide extreme stability of the fracture. Properly designed plates of the correct size for the patient and the use of screws with maximum holding power make the system independent of any additional form of support.
compression plating device
a device that is connected to an already fixed end of a compression plate and then connected to the other bone fragment so as to obtain as complete compression as possible. Not commonly used when modern dynamic compression plates are utilized.
spinal cord compression
compression of the cord by a space-occupying lesion in the vertebral canal causes an upper motor neuron syndrome below and a lower motor neuron syndrome at the site of the lesion.

spinal cord

that part of the central nervous system lodged in the spinal canal, extending from the foramen magnum to a point in the lumbar or sacral vertebrae, depending on the species.

spinal cord abscess
see spinal abscess.
spinal cord atrophy
diminution in mass of the entire cord, is usually the hallmark of undernutrition or old age, or both.
spinal cord compression
may be gradual due to space-occupying lesion of vertebral canal, such as abscess, callus of a fracture, or a tumor, or acute due to fracture dislocation or thrombosis. In general, clinical signs include paresis or paralysis, but depending on the level of the spinal cord involved and the type of lesion present there may also be urinary incontinence, loss of sensation, Horner's syndrome, and in acute lesions, spinal shock.
spinal cord degeneration
spinal cord hemorrhage
spinal cord hypoplasia
usually segmental, especially in the lumbar area.
spinal cord local ischemia
caused by embolus of a spinal artery; has the same effect as traumatic injury (see below).
spinal cord tracts
more or less distinct bundles of fibers within the white matter of the spinal cord. There are three funiculi on each side of the cord—dorsal, lateral and ventral; subdivisions within the funiculi include eleven major tracts—gracile and cuneate fasciculi, lateral and ventral corticospinal tracts, rubrospinal tract, dorsal and ventral spinocerebellar tracts, lateral and ventral spinothalamic tracts, elementary apparatus fibers, ventral corticospinal tract, vestibulospinal tract.
spinal cord traumatic injury
fracture or dislocation of one or more vertebrae; causes a syndrome of acute flaccid paralysis in the area supplied with nerves from the injured segment and spastic paralysis in the parts supplied by the cord segments caudal to the injury.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fortunately, as most of the cases are admitted with signs and symptoms of spinal cord compression syndrome, medical professionals usually act urgently.