Spinal shock


  • Do not confuse with Neurogenic Shock
  • Transient stunning of the cord with global loss of function (unlike neurogenic shock) with temporary loss of spinal cord function below complete or incomplete spinal cord injury
  • Can think of it as a "concussion" of the spinal cord

Clinical Features

  • Bulbocavernosus reflex is among the first to return as spinal shock resolves
    • Performed by squeezing glans of penis or clitoris and monitoring for anus contraction
    • Mediated by S2-S4
  • Usually lasts day to weeks
    • Resolves when soft tissue swelling improves

Differential Diagnosis





  • Admission

See Also

  • Spinal Cord Trauma
  • Spinal Cord Compression (Non-Traumatic)
  • Neurogenic Shock


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