What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

The onset of Cauda Equina can occur rapidly.  The condition can be caused by:

  • Disc herniation in the lower back (similar to a pinched nerve)
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cancer or tumour
  • Trauma to the lower back (caused by a car accident or fall etc.)
  • Epidural abscess
  • Epidural hematoma
  • A disease or virus attacking the lower spine

Cauda Equina symptoms include:

  • Severe lower back pain
  • Motor weakness, sensory loss, or pain in one, or more commonly both legs
  • Numbness in your ‘saddle’ area
  • Sudden bladder and/or bowel dysfunction
  • Sensory abnormalities in the bladder or rectum
  • Recent onset of sexual dysfunction
  • A loss of reflexes in the extremities

The above are ‘red flag’ symptoms.  A health professional should examine you for possible Cauda Equina if you present with any of the above conditions, especially if you have been exposed to one of the above causes (for example, you have recently suffered a trauma to the lower back).

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Finsbury, London