ISSN 2398-2977      

Spine: coccygeal - trauma

pequis

Introduction

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma: backing up into an object, sitting down suddenly, falling over backwards, getting stuck under gate/horse walker, tail entrapment.
  • Iatrogenic: when animal is lifted by its tail, eg when being positioned following general anesthesia; illegal injection of irritant substances aimed at reducing undesirable tail movement in American Quarterhorse show horses   Quarterhorse  .

Specific

  • In the adult the 4 bones forming the cranial sacrum are fused together   →   most caudal spinal injuries occurring between S4 and S5, or at the junction of the sacrum and the distal coccygeal bones.

Pathophysiology

  • Trauma    →    sacrococcygeal fractures   Sacrum: fracture  and/or lesions of the sacrocaudal ventral gray column, nerve roots, cauda equina, sacral and coccygeal nerves.
  • The spinal cord ends at approximately the level of the second sacral vertebra (S2) in the horse, and therefore the segmental spinal nerves S3-Co5 course caudally within the spinal canal to exit at their respective intervertebral spaces.
  • The spinal cord segments of S4-S5 and Co1-Co5, along with the nerve roots S1-S5 and Co1-Co5 comprise the cauda equina.
  • Damage to the coccygeal nerves (Co1-Co5)   →   reduced/absent tail tone and/or altered tail skin sensation.
  • Damage to sacral nerves S1-S5   →   altered sensation and conscious control of the perineum, anus, pelvic area and penis and/or autonomic control of the penis, bladder and rectum    →   penile prolapse/impotence, urinary retention/incontinence and/or fecal retention/incontinence.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Barrie D G et al (1998) Medical and Surgical Treatment of Sacral-Coccygeal Pathology. In: Proc AAEP Convention (44). pp 213-215.

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