Functional Anatomy of the Spinal Cord

  • Mario Ganau
  • Rahel Zewude
  • Michael G. FehlingsEmail author


The spinal cord (SC) is the anatomical structure of the central nervous system (CNS) serving as a processing and relay station from and to the peripheral nerves. This cylinder of gray and white matter receives motor inputs from the brain and a wide range of sensory information from the rest of the body. A clear understanding of SC anatomy and physiology, the distinction between vertebral segments and spinal segments, the correlation between the functional components of the spinal roots and the peripheral nerves, and a thorough knowledge of the motor, sensory, and autonomic pathways are of paramount importance for an accurate description of the different clinical symptoms and signs associated with spinal pathologies and traumas.


Functional spinal unit Interneurons Motor neurons Dorsal root ganglion Rexed laminae Muscle spindles Spinal arteries Spinal syndromes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Ganau
    • 1
  • Rahel Zewude
    • 1
  • Michael G. Fehlings
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Neurosurgery and Spine ProgramToronto Western Hospital, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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