Cauda Equina Syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Can cauda equina syndrome be prevented?

Cauda equina syndrome occurs as a result of conditions which are not predictable and is therefore not a preventable syndrome. However, cauda equina syndrome caused by infections initiated by IV drug abuse can be prevented by not using illegal IV drugs.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for cauda equina syndrome?

Ultimately, the outlook for patients affected by cauda equina syndrome is determined by the extent of damage to involved nerve tissue. In general, the longer the duration of the compression of the spinal cord, the longer the recovery period and less likely complete recovery can occur.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

eMedicne.com; "Cauda Equina Syndrome."
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/791613-overview.>

John H. Klippel, et. al., Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases, 13th Edition, 2008.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/25/2016

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