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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cauda equina syndrome


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Overview

Cauda equina syndrome refers to a group of symptoms that occur when some of the nerves in the cauda equina (the bundle of nerves that spread out from the bottom of the spinal cord) become compressed and/or damaged. Signs and symptoms of this condition include pain, numbness, or tingling in the lower back and/or legs; "foot drop"; problems with bowel and/or bladder control; and sexual dysfunction. Cauda equina syndrome may be caused by a herniated disk, tumor, infection, fracture, or spinal stenosis. Treatment usually targets the underlying cause of the condition and often includes surgery to remove the material that is pressing on the nerves. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and/or other services may be required if symptoms persist following surgery.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 5/17/2015

References

  1. Segun T Dawodu, MD, JD, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM. Cauda Equina and Conus Medullaris Syndromes. Medscape Reference. December 2014; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1148690-overview.
  2. Cauda Equina Syndrome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. March 2014; http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00362.
  3. Cauda equina syndrome. UpToDate. May 2015; Accessed 5/18/2015.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Cauda equina syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.