Caudal has several definitions in the field of medicine. One definition,
which is the most literal, means pertaining to or being a tail. Most
commonly, however, caudal is a term used to refer to a position,
specifically a position towards the bottom (inferior aspect) of a body
area. An example is the caudal (lower part) of the spine. When
anesthesia is injected into the caudal area of the spinal canal, it is
referred to as caudal anesthesia (or caudal epidural anesthesia).
Caudal regression syndrome is a term used to refer to a disorder that
impairs the development of the lower half of the body (e.g., lower
back, legs). Caudal can also mean to be positioned in or directed
towards the back part of the body, such as the back part of an animal
(e.g., the caudal fin of a fish). Caudal can also refer to a position that
is away from or farthest away from the center.
Caudal is also known as posterior, caudalis, caudad, and cauda. A good example of the
latter is the cauda equina, which are nerve roots that dangle from the bottom of the
The opposite of caudal is anterior, cephalic, and cephalad, which means towards the
Caudal comes from the Latin word "cauda" meaning "tail."