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Normal anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves 

Normal anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves
Chapter:
Normal anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves
Author(s):

Steve Casha

and Philippe Mercier

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0220
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date: 27 November 2020

The spinal cord and peripheral nerves carry motor and autonomic efferents, as well as sensory afferents connecting the cerebrum with the body. Efferent and afferent fibres form predictable tracts within the spinal cord, forming spinal nerves as they exit the spinal canal. Peripheral nerves are often formed from complicated plexuses of spinal nerves in the cervical, lumbar, and sacral spine. Dermatomes are formed from spinal nerves that innervate specific areas of skin, while myotomes innervate a specific set of muscles. The detailed anatomy of these structures are discussed. Knowledge of the anatomy of these structures is relevant to many clinical situations encountered in the intensive care unit especially with caring for neurological, neurosurgical, orthopaedic, and trauma patients.

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