April 11, 2024

Cauda equina syndrome is a serious condition with various etiology which cause extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord

Causes of Cauda equina syndrome

Injuries below the level of L1


Cauda equina has varied etiology some are noted below:

  • Spinal tumors
  • Pott’s disease
  • Protrusion of disk
  • Fracture dislocation of TL spine

Clinical Features

Back pain, perineal pain, difficulty in micturition, and impotence in males are some common symptoms of cauda equina

Sensory signs:

Saddle-shaped hyperesthesia and later anesthesia —>involving buttocks, anus, and perineum

Motor signs: Flaccid paralysis below the knee


Ankle jerk–>LOST

Knee Jerk –> INCREASED ( d/t weakness of opposite hamstring)

Bladder Symptoms: Retention of urine with overflow

Anal sphincter relaxation: Leading to incontinence of bowels

Treatment of Cauda equina syndrome

Different surgical approaches can be used but the most commonly used approach is the posterior approach.

Prompt surgical stabilization

Chief cause of death in spinal cord inury–>Pneumonia, sucidial

Can Cauda equina cause death?