Cauda Equina Syndrome Info

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Cauda Equina Syndrome is a devastating medical condition which medical personnel are not always familiar with.  It usually requires emergency surgery in order to avoid permanent damage to the nerves which control feeling below your waist.  Nerves regrow very slowly so the healing process takes years.  Even with timely emergency surgery, you will most likely never recover completely.  Most victims of Cauda Equina Syndrome find their lives altered forever.

It robs you of your balance & ability to walk, control of your bladder & bowels, provides you with mild to severe nerve pain, and destroys your sexual functionality.  Many live out their days with pain medicine, tiag & catheters, wheelchairs or walkers.  Some are permanently, totally disabled.  Most are permanently, partially disabled.

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If you have lower back pain and these symptomsDEMAND to be evaluated for Cauda Equina Syndrome.

 

Below is patient information from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.  You can link to the whole article here -Cauda Equina Syndrome Information

 

 

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Kaum ib hlis, 2005

Low back pain affects millions of people every year, and in most cases, it improves without surgery. But severe back pain can be a symptom of a serious condition that is not well known and is often misdiagnosed. Cauda equina syndrome (CES) Thaum paj caj ceg ntawm tus cauda equina muaj compressed thiab txhob los cuam tshuam txog lub cev muaj zog thiab piav thoob hlo nuj nqi mus rau sab extremities thiab cov zis. Cov neeg mob no muaj feem ntau mus nyob hauv lub tsev kho mob raws li ib qho mob ti tes ti taw. CES yuav ua rau kom tuskheej thiab ruaj khov tseem txav.

Tus sau los ntawm qab haus huv kawg ntawm cov leeg nrob qaum tsis raug raws li tus cauda equina, due to its resemblance to a horse's tail. Leeg nrob qaum hnub nyob sab sauv seem ntawm lub caj qaum. (duav) tus txha nqaj. Lub paj tus cag kawg ntawm cov leeg nrob qaum uas muab lub cev muaj zog thiab piav thoob hlo ua rau cov ceg thiab cov zis tseem xeeb nyob rau hauv cov leeg nrob kwj dej. Cov cauda equina yog cov continuation ntawm cov hauv paus hniav paj nyob hauv thaj av lumbar. These nerves send and receive messages to and from the lower limbs and pelvic organs.

Causes

CES most commonly results from a massive herniated disc in the lumbar region. A single excessive strain or injury may cause a herniated disc. However, disc material degenerates naturally as you age, and the ligaments that hold it in place begin to weaken. As this degeneration progresses, a relatively minor strain or twisting movement can cause a disc to rupture.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Patients with back pain should be aware of the following "red flag" symptoms that may indicate CES:

  • Severe low back pain
  • Motor weakness, sensory loss, or pain in one, or more commonly both legs
  • Saddle anesthesia (unable to feel anything in the body areas that sit on a saddle)
  • Recent onset of bladder dysfunction (such as urinary retention or incontinence)
  • Recent onset of bowel incontinence
  • Sensory abnormalities in the bladder or rectum
  • Recent onset of sexual dysfunction
  • A loss of reflexes in the extremities

Treatment

Once the diagnosis of CES is made, and the etiology established, urgent surgery is usually the treatment of choice. The goal is to reverse the symptoms of neural dysfunction. Left untreated, CES can result in permanent paralysis and incontinence.

Those experiencing any of the red flag symptoms should consult a neurosurgeon as soon as possible. Prompt surgery is the best treatment for patients with CES. Treating patients within 48 hours after the onset of the syndrome provides a significant advantage in improving sensory and motor deficits as well as urinary and rectal function. Tab sis, muaj tej tus neeg uas undergo hlais tom qab 48 teev qhov zoo tagnrho timeframe nrog tej zaum yuav muaj kev theem txhim kho.

Daws kev mob nrog CES

CES yuav ua rau neeg ob lub cev thiab sab kev xav, xyov yog hais tias nws yog mob. Neeg CES tej zaum lawm yuav tau ua hauj lwm, tog twg los vim yog mob heev, cwjpwm lawv tuskheej teeb meem, lub cev muaj zog tsis muaj zog thiab piav thoob hlo poob, los yog tej teeb meem no thaum lawv tseem.

Tswj zis thiab plob tsis so tswj tsis tau yuav tsis tshua muaj neeg distressing thiab muaj muaj tej yam tsis zoo heev nyob rau lub neej tsis muaj kev, ua hauj lwm thiab kev sib raug zoo. Cov neeg mob CES kuj yuav chiv mob heev heev urinary. Kev ua niam txiv kuj yuav ntsoog loj heev rau cov neeg mob thiab nws tus hlub thiab tej zaum yuav ua rau kev nyuaj thiab kev nyuaj siab.

Mob hlab hom (neurogenic) pain may require prescription pain medication with side effects that may cause further problems. If the pain is chronic, it may become "centralized" and radiate to other areas of the body. Neurogenic pain tends to be worse at night and may interfere with sleep. This type of pain tends to produce a burning feeling that can become constant and unbearable. Sensory loss may range from pins and needles to complete numbness, and may affect the bladder, bowel and genital areas. Weakness is usually in the legs and may contribute to problems walking.

It is essential that people with CES receive emotional support from a network of friends and family members, if possible. It is important to work closely with your physician on medication and pain management. There are several medications prescribed to address pain, bladder and bowel problems. In addition, some patients find that physical therapy and psychological counseling help them cope with CES.

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