ContentsSynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferencesView all Images (7)
Emergency: requires immediate attention
Cauda equina syndrome
Print Captions OFF
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Emergency: requires immediate attention

Cauda equina syndrome

Print Images (7)
Contributors: Andrea Wasilewski MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Cauda equina syndrome is a neurologic emergency where damage to the lumbosacral plexus leads to loss of lower motor neuron function. Trauma, tumors or abscesses, large lumbar disk herniation, and spinal stenosis are some of the etiologies of this condition.

Onset is typically gradual but can be acute. Signs and symptoms include severe back pain that may radiate into one or both legs, saddle anesthesia, leg weakness or paraplegia, urinary or bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and gait disturbance. There may be reduced or absent patellar, Achilles, anal, and bulbocavernosus reflexes.

Prognosis depends on severity and duration of compression or damage to the affected nerves.

Codes

ICD10CM:
G83.4 – Cauda equina syndrome

SNOMEDCT:
192970008 – Cauda Equina Syndrome

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Reviewed: 05/09/2018
Last Updated: 10/16/2018
Copyright © 2018 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Emergency: requires immediate attention
Cauda equina syndrome
Captions OFF Print 7 Images
View all Images (7)
(with subscription)
Cauda equina syndrome : Low back pain, Urinary incontinence, Monoparesis of leg, Paresthesias
Imaging Studies image of Cauda equina syndrome
Sag T2 MRI sequence of the lumbar spine demonstrates a mass with increased T2 signal involving the terminal aspects of the conus medullaris, with expansion of the cord and perilesional edema. This mass was found to represent an astrocytoma, and was resulting in symptoms of cauda equina syndrome secondary to compression of the cauda equina.
Copyright © 2018 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.