In summary, a working knowledge of the spinal cord's anatomy is critical in understanding the various presentations of the spinal cord syndromes. A careful history and physical, including a systematic neurologic examination, will direct the diagnostic work-up. There are a number of disorders that may affect the spine which are slowly progressive and do not necessarily require an emergent evaluation. However, patients with spinal cord trauma and spinal cord metastatic lesions are at risk for rapid and progressive deterioration. These patients require high priorization in care because morbidity and mortality may be significantly impacted by rapid diagnosis and initiation of therapeutic interventions.