Patient Comments: Cauda Equina Syndrome - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your cauda equina syndrome?

Comment from: Tbcb6, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

After 13 years of severe back issues I finally resorted to spine surgery in 2011 for a herniated disc at L4/L5. Six months later I was immobilized by severe back pain from the same disc. I was sent for a spinal steroid injection. Two days later I was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room (ER) where the doctor on staff said I needed to learn to live with my pain and sent me home. Two days later I was back in the hospital in screaming pain and starting to feel numb in the genital area. After emergency spine surgery I awoke to being numb from the waist down. I had an external catheter for 30 days. I was told the nerve damage would take 2 to 3 years to heal. I have a neurogenic bladder and have to use a catheter. Sex is pointless because I can't feel anything. At 49 (and now) 51 years young with young children I have to use an electric scooter to grocery shop. My leg, calves and foot muscles don't work right so I can't walk more than a few feet without using a cane or holding on to someone. To top it off I have excruciating debilitating muscle cramps at night that wake me in the night screaming. I feel like my quality of life has been stolen from me.

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Comment from: steve, Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I had subdural hematoma in December 2011 that resulted in cauda equina. I have been self-catheterizing 4 times a day, and I have trouble with bowel movement.

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Comment from: baboosh44, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I have a bulging disc at L4, L5 and S1. I had it for about three weeks when my doctor sent me for an MRI and EMG. I'm really scared because I feel like something has gone totally wrong in my body. I can hardly bend my waist a certain way without excruciating pain. The same thing is happening with my hips and leg. I can't walk on my right foot at all and my left foot is shaking. To get up to go to the rest room is all I can do. I go this week for an epidural spinal pain shot and am scared that if something else is going on, we won't see it.

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Cauda Equina Syndrome - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with cauda equina syndrome.
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Cauda Equina - Causes Question: If known, what was the cause of your cauda equina?

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