Patterns of Spinal Cord Injury

1. Complete SCI. No motor or sensory function below the level of the lesion, including sacral dermatomes.

2. Brown-Sequard syndrome. Hemi-cord injury syndrome, with motor and proprioceptive sensory deficits seen predominantly ipsilateral to the injury, and pain and temperature sensory deficits seen predominantly contralateral to the injury.

3. "Central" SCI. A contusion type of partial injury predominantly affecting the corticospinal system. Hand > arm > leg weakness. Has relatively good prognosis for neurological recovery.

4. Conus medullaris and cauda equina injuries. Cause predominantly bowel and bladder sphincter deficits, often with foot drop and distal lower extremity and sacral sensory deficits. Cauda equina injuries, if incomplete, have a much better prognosis for neurological recovery than spinal-cord injury.

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