It is a condition due to damage to the bundle of nerves below the end of the spinal cord known as the cauda equina.
Symptoms include low back pain, pain that radiates down the leg, numbness around the anus, and loss of bowel or bladder control. Beginning may be rapid or gradual.
The cause is usually a disc herniation in the lower region of the back. Other causes include spinal stenosis, cancer, trauma, epidural abscess, and epidural hematoma. Diagnosis is by medical imaging such as MRI or CT scan.
- Severe back pain
- Saddle anesthesia
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Sciatica-type pain on one side or both sides, although pain may be wholly absent
- Weakness of the muscles of the lower legs
- Achilles reflex absent on both sides.
- Sexual dysfunction
- Absent anal reflex and bulbocavernosus reflex
- Walk disturbance
Severe back pain, saddle anesthesia, incontinence and sexual dysfunction are features which require urgent investigation.
The syndrome is generally treated surgically via laminectomy.
See reference for more information.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on July 3, 2018.