Spinal segment: The part of spinal cord to which a pair of spinal nerves (right and left) is attached.
Cause of mismatch between spinal segments and vertebral level:
- The spinal cord lags in growth compared to the vertebral column after 3rd embryonic month
- Spinal cord is shorter (45 cm) compared to the vertebral column (65 cm)
- Spinal segments always lie above their numerically corresponding vertebral spines
|Vertebral level||Add||Spinal segment|
During clinical examination, when you get any sensory level, always consider this longitudinal discrepancy between cord level and vertebral level.