What is cauda equina syndrome?
Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare condition where there is severe compression of spinal nerve roots called the cauda equina (Horse's tail in Latin). Cauda equina syndrome is a surgical emergency and if not treated quickly can lead to incontinence and permanent paralysis of the legs.
What causes cauda equina syndrome?There are several causes of cauda equina syndrome, including:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal
- Spinal lesions and tumors
- Spinal infections and inflammation
- Traumatic lumbar spine injuries
- Spinal anaesthesia
- Birth defects
Cauda equina syndrome signs and symptomsThe onset of cauda equina syndrome can be either acute or gradual. Common symptoms of cauda equina include:
- Sciatica – nerve pain in the lower back and legs
- Weakness and numbness affecting the legs
- Saddle anesthesia - loss or altered sensations in the lower body
- Sexual dysfunction
Cauda equina syndrome misdiagnosis
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