What is cauda equina syndrome?
Cauda equina syndrome is a rare and serious spinal condition where the nerves in the lower back become compressed. Cauda equina is the name given to the collection of nerves at the end of the spinal cord.
What causes cauda equina syndrome?
Some possible causes of cauda equina syndrome are: spinal injury, infections of the cauda equina or a large slipped disc (when the soft tissue of a disc in the spine pushes out).
What are the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome?
Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include:
- weakness and numbness in both legs
- numbness around your genitals or anus
- finding it hard to pee
- not realising when you need to poo
An MRI scan can confirm whether your symptoms are caused by cauda equina syndrome. This condition needs emergency surgery as it can lead to permanent paralysis.