Cauda Equina

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Cauda Equina Syndrome is a spinal emergency; it is a rare disorder that if not picked up, can cause serious debilitating lifelong consequences. This is a condition where there is pressure on the cauda equina bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord. Cauda Equinamay be caused by many conditions such as trauma, spinal stenosis, and prolapsed discs. 

Symptoms of Cauda Equina 

  • Bladder problems such as being unable to pass urine

  • Severe back pain

  • Pain in both legs

  • Loss of bladder/bowel function (incontinence) 

  • ‘saddle anaesthesia’ loss of sensation in the areas used to sit on the saddle to ride a horse 

  • Sexual dysfunction 


Diagnosis of Cauda Equina

A history including any of the above symptoms raise suspicion of cauda equina syndrome. Physical examination will be carried out and assess the function of the nerves and reflexes. Diagnosis will then be confirmed with an MRI scan.

Treatment of Cauda Equina 

Cauda Equina requires urgent Spinal and Neurosurgical specialist assessment and can require immediate surgical decompression.

Surrey Orthopaedic Clinic 

Cauda Equina Specialists:

Dr Giancarlo Camilleri

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