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Cauda Equina

Cauda Equina Symptoms

If you believe that you might be suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome, what are the main symptoms? Read this guide to find out about the major symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome.

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The Main Symptoms Of Cauda Equina Syndrome

These can include the following:-

  • Lower back pain which can be a deep, aching pain.
  • Pain in one leg or both legs but starts in the buttocks and travels down the back of the thighs and legs (this can be a shooting or stabbing pain and is caused by trapped nerves)
  • Numbness in the groin
  • Bowel and bladder disturbances such as being unable to urinate
  • Lower extremity muscle weakness and loss of sensation
  • Reduced or absent lower extremity reflexes

What Is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda Equine Syndrome is cause by a compression of the nerves and whilst it can be difficult to diagnose, early diagnosis is vital to avoid permanent pain or disability.

What Should You Do?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms and have recently undergone surgery or had a traumatic injury to the spine you should seek immediate medical help. Other causes of Cauda Equina are slipped or prolapsed discs, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the normal front to back distance of the spinal canal), spinal tumours, inflammatory conditions and some infectious conditions.

Failure or a delay in diagnosis can occur because often the first signs are related to the bladder, bowel or sexual problems. Because of the sensitive nature of some of these conditions patients might delay mentioning them to their doctor due to embarassment.

Diagnosis And Treatment

An MRI scan will confirm the diagnosis of Cauda Equina Syndrome and generally following this urgent surgical intervention will be required to attempt to release the compression of the nerves. However, the treatment itself can lead to further damage. It is generally felt that treatment within 48 hours of the compression of the nerves has the best prospects of success.

Summary

If you believe that you are suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome you must immediately seek medical assistance so that a scan and treatment can be carried out.

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