Dorsal root of spinal nerve

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Dorsal root of spinal nerve
Spinal nerve.svg
The formation of the spinal nerve from the dorsal and ventral roots
Latin radix posterior
Gray's p.916
MeSH A08.800.800.720.725
TA A14.2.00.030
FMA 5980
Anatomical terminology

The dorsal root of spinal nerve (or posterior root of spinal nerve) is one of two "roots" which emerge from the spinal cord. It emerges directly from the spinal cord, and travels to the dorsal root ganglion. Nerve fibres with the ventral root then combine to form a spinal nerve. The dorsal root transmits sensory information, forming the afferent sensory root of a spinal nerve.


The root emerges from the posterior part of the spinal cord and travel to the dorsal root ganglion. This contains the cell bodies of the nerve fibres contained in the root.

The lateral division of the dorsal root contains lightly myelinated and unmyelinated fibres of small diameter. These carry pain and temperature sensation. These fibers cross through the anterior white commissure to form the anterolateral system in the lateral funiculus.

The medial division of the dorsal root contains myelinated fibres of larger diameter. These transmit information of discriminative touch, pressure, vibration, and conscious proprioception originating from spinal levels C2 through S5. These fibers are pushed in towards the posterior median sulcus to form the gracile fasciculus and the cuneate fasciculus.

If the dorsal root of a spinal nerve were severed it would lead to numbness in certain areas of the body.

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