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Cauda Equina Syndrome

What Is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a serious neurologic condition. It causes sudden loss of function of the lumbar plexus, a collection of nerves that stem from the lumbar spinal cord.

Symptoms include:

  • Paralysis of the legs and lower body
  • Weakness of the muscles in the lower body
  • Lack of bladder control

Cauda equina syndrome can be caused by: 

  • Herniated disc
  • Trauma
  • Tumor
  • Abnormal bone growth
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Bacterial infections

Diagnosis is usually confirmed by an MRI scan or CT scan.

UR Medicine's Treatments for Cauda Equina Syndrome

The Integrated Spine Care team at UR Medicine brings together neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical therapists, and neuro-pain management specialists. These experts focus on holistic care and wellness while specializing in surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

Treatment of cauda equina syndrome will depend on the cause. Treatment may include:

  • Surgical decompression
  • Immobilization
  • Surgery to remove blood, bone fragments, tumors, or abnormal bone growth
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Antibiotics

Lifestyle changes may be suggested after treatment, such as including physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine is a world-class medical center and leading academic institution. Our providers offer outstanding patient-centered care and conduct breakthrough research in neurology. The Integrated Spine Care team at UR Medicine has proven excellence in spine care for over 30 years in the Rochester region.Our specialists aim to get patients into a treatment program quickly to effectively control symptoms and improve quality of life.

UR Medicine is one of the few centers in the region that offer a variety of non-invasive spine procedures. These approaches are minimally disruptive procedures that allow the surgeon to have direct access to the intervertebral disc space and fuse the lumbar spine from the side of the body as opposed to the front or back. This means instead of a large, open incision, the procedure is performed through a small incision to expedite recovery.

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