What does it feel like to have cauda equina syndrome?
Typical symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include: Neurological symptoms in the lower body. Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the legs, and/or feet on one or both sides of the body is a common symptom. Lower body weakness or numbness may make it difficult to walk or stand.
Is cauda equina an emergency?
Cauda equina syndrome is a rare disorder that usually is a surgical emergency. In patients with cauda equina syndrome, something compresses on the spinal nerve roots. You may need fast treatment to prevent lasting damage leading to incontinence and possibly permanent paralysis of the legs.
Where is cauda equina located?
The collection of nerves at the end of the spinal cord is known as the cauda equina, due to its resemblance to a horse’s tail. The spinal cord ends at the upper portion of the lumbar (lower back) spine.
How do you rule out cauda equina syndrome?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): the best method of imaging the spinal cord, nerve roots, intervertebral discs, and ligaments. Since these scans can detect damage or disease of soft tissue, MRIs are valuable in diagnosing the cause of cauda equina syndrome.
Can you have a mild case of cauda equina?
When symptoms do occur, they may vary from mild and intermittent discomfort in the legs to severe and disabling leg symptoms including sensory and sometimes motor dysfunction (Kalichman et al., 2009; Genevay and Atlas, 2010).
Where do you feel cauda equina pain?
There are several red flags that you might have cauda equina syndrome: Numbness or different sensations in the backs of your legs, butt, hip and inner thighs (your saddle area, as in the parts of your body that would touch the saddle if you were on a saddled horse). Pain in your back and/or legs (sciatica).
Does cauda equina happen suddenly?
Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can develop suddenly, but may take weeks or months. The onset of the condition is often described using the following distinctions: Acute onset is marked by a rapid development of symptoms that often includes severe low back pain and significant loss of bladder and bowel function.
What should I do if I think I have cauda equina?
Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency that must be treated with immediate surgical decompression. Therefore you must go to hospital as soon as you develop the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome.
Can you walk with cauda equina?
If patients with cauda equina syndrome do not receive treatment quickly, adverse results can include paralysis, impaired bladder, and/or bowel control, difficulty walking, and/or other neurological and physical problems.
How does cauda equina start?
Cauda equina syndrome can present in 2 ways: acute onset, where the symptoms and signs occur rapidly, and insidious onset, where the condition begins as lower back pain and slowly progresses to bowel and urinary incontinence. Cauda equina syndrome is most commonly caused by compression from a lumbar herniated disc.
What are red flags for cauda equina?
Red flag symptoms Bilateral sciatica (pain and altered sensation in the legs) Bladder dysfunction such as having to strain or an altered flow or altered awareness of the need to urinate. Tingling or numbness in the saddle area between the legs and around the anus. Alteration of sexual sensation.
What is the difference between cauda equina and sciatica?
The causes of Cauda Equina Syndrome are similar to sciatica except that in CES, the compression is being applied to the cauda equina nerves located at the bottom of the spine. It shares some of the same symptoms as sciatica, but there are some big red flags that indicate CES rather than sciatica: Severe back pain.
What is the most common finding in cauda equina syndrome?
Does cauda equina cause hip pain?
What is the most sensitive finding in cauda equina syndrome?
The sensitivity and specificity of the exam findings were highest for bulbocavernosus reflex (BCR) (100% and 100%), followed by rectal tone (80% and 86%), postvoid residual bladder (80% and 59%), and perianal sensation (60% and 68%).
Can you see cauda equina in MRI?
MRI scan for cauda equina syndrome These symptoms should prompt medical practitioners to suspect cauda equina syndrome. However, the only way a firm diagnosis can be achieved is with an MRI scan. A patient should therefore be sent for an emergency MRI scan, meaning within around four hours of presenting to hospital.
What is mild cauda equina?
There’s a collection of nerve roots at the bottom of your spinal cord that affect your legs and bladder. When an injury or herniated disk or other problem compresses those nerves, then that causes pain, weakness and incontinence. Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency.
What can be mistaken for cauda equina?
Urinary tract infection: because of the change in urinary habit, Cauda Equina Syndrome is regularly mistaken for a urinary tract infection.