Cauda Equina Syndrome - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome?

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include low back pain, numbness and/or tingling in the buttocks and lower extremities (sciatica), weakness in the legs, and incontinence of bladder and/or bowels. The numbness of cauda equina syndrome typically is in the distribution of where the body would touch a saddle when sitting upon a horse, and is referred to as "saddle anesthesia."

Partial cauda equina syndrome is the terminology that applies when there is incomplete compression of the nerves of the lower spinal cord. This can elicit various degrees and combinations of the symptoms listed above. With complete cauda equina syndrome, the array of symptoms listed above is commonplace.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Robert Walker, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 28

In the year 2000, I had emergency surgery at my doctor's hospital, after it was determined I had equina syndrome. Unofficially I feel it was caused by improper diagnosis and treatment at another hospital, giving me weighted traction for my lower back pain I was experiencing. I had immediate terrible pain, they realized something was wrong and sent me by ambulance to my doctor's hospital about 30 miles away. My doctor immediate recognized my symptoms and ordered an MRI and surgery to help. I now have permanent nerve damage, and have issues with bowels, bladder and no Sexual function, and loss of sensation in my left leg and foot too.

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Comment from: Jim, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 11

I am a senior with bad balance problems from cauda equina syndrome. I fell backwards jamming my right knee on a wood floor. The fall drove my femur (hip bone) sharply upward tilting my pelvis and affecting the nerves at the end of my spinal cord. I now have urinary and bowel problems in addition to erectile dysfunction; none before the accident.

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