Spinal cord compression is a surgical emergency, usually requiring prompt surgical decompression to prevent permanent neurological impairment. If the spinal roots below the conus medullaris are involved, it is termed cauda equina syndrome.



There are numerous causes of cord compression. These can be divided according to the location of the compressing mass:

Lesions of the cord itself can present in a similar manner to extrinsic cord compression but are usually considered separately (e.g. spinal cord tumors, spinal cord abscess).

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