Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)

Although second opinions are a very wise idea in spinal surgery, one instance when a second opinion does not make sense is in the case of a true surgical emergency known as cauda equina syndrome.

Although rare, very large herniated discs can cause this syndrome which is a combination of loss of bowel/bladder function, saddle anesthesia, and usually pain/weakness in the lower extremities.

Patients with a true cauda equina syndrome typically need urgent surgery to help reduce the risks for long-term problems, such as bowel, bladder, and/or sexual dysfunction, and/or paralysis

This article on Spine Universe effectively describes this condition in greater detail.


Comments (1)

Totally freaking out! My boyfriend has all of the symptoms of CES:
Bowel, Bladder and sexual problems, extreme leg weakness, saddle numbness. He has been to the hospital TWICE. They say he doesn’t have CES, but another neuro problem even though the definition of this syndrome fits him exactly!

What do you do when they don’t take it seriously??? Previous neck surgery for stenosis, and diagnosis stenosis and disc bulging in lumbar. MRIs show mild to moderate stenosis, but this was the case with his neck and he had myelopathy and they did surgery for that anyway! He had previous lumbar surgery. Am I crazy to be freaked out???

Two full days at the hospital… just these symptoms. They say some other non-surgical neurologic problem (like parkinsons) but these are his only symptoms and he has all of them. And previous diskectomy 15 years ago. How do I send his films? I am freaking out here!

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