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What is cauda equina syndrome?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accident

When you’re in any kind of car accident – even a minor fender bender – it can be a relief to just walk away from the scene.

However, sometimes, serious injuries may not be evident immediately after a wreck. With some of them, you can end up walking away from the wreck only to collapse later. Cauda equina syndrome is one such condition.

Symptoms to watch for after a wreck

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) gets its name because a victim may initially feel the effects in the “saddle” area of their body. The condition occurs when the nerves in the lumbar spine become compressed, affecting the victim’s body below.

The symptoms of CES can develop rapidly as swelling in the area of compression gets worse and may include:

  • Severe low back pain: It’s important not to dismiss this as just muscle strain
  • Sciatica: Pain that radiates down own or both legs is a big indicator of a problem
  • Numbness or tingling: Be particularly concerned if it’s in your groin, buttocks or inner thighs
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction: Difficulty urinating, incontinence or loss of bowel control are major signs 
  • Sexual dysfunction: Redacted sexual sensation or function can be an early sign of trouble

Diagnosing CES typically involves a combination of physical examinations, patient history, and imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans. These tests help pinpoint the cause and extent of nerve compression. Treatment often involves emergency surgery to relieve pressure on the nerves – so act quickly to seek medical help.

If you suffer from cauda equina syndrome after a wreck, find out more about your options to recover fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.