Cauda Equina Syndrome
The caudal nerve roots located at the terminus of the spinal cord form what is known as the cauda equina. Compression of these nerves can cause cauda equina syndrome which can affect:
It is not easy to diagnose cauda equina syndrome and the only way to eliminate the diagnosis is with an emergency MRI scan. A thorough history and clinical examination assisted by appropriate radiological examination will provide the primary basis for a diagnosis.
The majority of CES cases are of sudden onset and progress extremely quickly within days, or even a matter of hours. It is also possible for some patients to develop CES slowly and these patients may also experience no pain whatsoever.
Patients most commonly present with:
Refer the patient for a neurosurgical consultation immediately.
Urgent spinal decompression surgery is necessary to provide the patient the best chance of avoiding permanent neurological damage.
Cauda equina syndrome 2016
Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy) 2015
Common questions about chronic low back pain 2015
Cauda equina syndrome: implications for primary care 2014
Cauda equina syndrome: evaluation of the clinical outcome 2014
Current management review of thoracolumbar cord syndromes 2011
Causes and outcomes of cauda equina syndrome in medico-legal practice… 2011
Cauda equina syndrome: a review of the current clinical and medico-legal position 2010
Low back pain in adults: early management 2009
Cauda equina syndrome: a literature review of its definition and clinical presentation 2009
Cauda equina syndrome: a review of clinical progress 2009
Cauda equina syndrome: a clinical review for the frontline clinician 2009
Cauda equina syndrome 2009
Cauda equina syndrome: a comprehensive review 2008
Epidural abscess causing cauda equina syndrome 2005
Nonvascular complications following spinal manipulation 2005