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Cauda Equina Symptoms

KayKKay Posts: 50
edited 09/21/2015 - 7:49 AM in Lower Back Pain
on 8/4/15 i developed a one hr episode of cauda equina symptoms. i was favoring my left side due to bone spur rt heel, standing too much and got severe searing posterior leg pain (not sciatica),that started in lower back to buttock etc. finally, when i changed position like into car and up my back steps the pain went away, i realized my bladder was completely full so i had some bladder loss! i had no sacral sensation that whole time as my bladder was filling up and i did not feel it. i have a hx of l4-5 l5-s1 herniations but then new mri shows less, ie only small disc bulge l4-5. i have had the same problem with radiologists and neurosurgeons. they all see something different and it's frustrating.neurosurgeons are incompetent as they just look at the mri and tell me "oh this is nothing". it's crazy cause i have lived with back pain, sciatica etc for 6.5 yr, started up with nerve pains in legs in 2014 that sometimes causes my legs to give out. don't ask me to pack any boxes cause the bending is the worst. they don't care about your story. it's scary. anyhow, seeing neurologist who is doing tests for cauda equina like mri with contrast to ck for nerve inflammation and an emg.

anyone else had this?

welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 09/21/15 13:49est



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,433
    here are some formal spine-health articles and videos you should review

    all about caudal-equina syndrome
    cauda-equina syndrome video
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Kay said:
    On 8/4/15 It's crazy cause I have lived with back pain, sciatica etc for 6.5 yr, started up with nerve pains in legs in 2014 that sometimes causes my legs to give out. Don't ask me to pack any boxes cause the bending is the worst. They don't care about your story. It's scary. Anyhow, seeing Neurologist who is doing tests for Cauda Equina like MRI with contrast to ck for nerve inflammation AND an EMG.

    Anyone else had this?
    I have also a normal-ish looking MRI and have cauda equina type pain for a long time now. Its shocked how ignorant doctors can be. and that the MRI is whole basis of surgery.

    Can you tell me what a "Cauda Equina like MRI with contrast" is? Is that just a lumbar MRI with contrast?
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,433
    edited 09/21/2015 - 12:24 PM
    Cauda-equina deals with the lower part of the lumbar region. So a MRI of the lumber (lower) with contrast should identify that
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • of the thecal sac and the spinal nerves within it. There are two types of Cauda Equina, acute onset and chronic. I have had/have both.
    Acute CES usually is a result of a massive herniation which blocks off the spinal nerves contained in the lumbar spine at any level.
    It can cause sudden severe pain, sudden loss of bladder or bowel control, sudden new numbness or tingling in the saddle areas of your body.
    Chronic CES occurs over an extended period of time and it's symptoms are the same but more progressive and often permanent.
    Images of CES can be found all over the internet, in several medical websites .
    If there is suspected CES, it will show up in MRI imaging

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