Nervous System

Spinal Cord

What is the cauda equina?

The cauda equina (from the Latin cauda, meaning “tail,” and equus, meaning “horse”) is the group of spinal nerves that arise in the lower lumbar region of the vertebral column. Since the spinal cord extends only to the first or second lumbar vertebrae, all the root nerves that begin below the first or second vertebrae resemble thin, wispy strands of hair similar to a horse’s tail.


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