Cauda Equina Syndrome (cont.)
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When to Seek Medical Care
Cauda equina syndrome is a surgical emergency. Persons should seek immediate medical care or go to the emergency department if they believe they have symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. Some of the early symptoms related to cauda equina syndrome, including low back pain and muscle weakness, are more often caused by simple disk herniation, which does not require urgent attention. However, if you develop severe pain or loss of sensation or bowel or bladder disturbances, you should contact your physician immediately.
Your chances of regaining normal function and having a positive outcome are related to how long you have had symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. Most experts agree that people with cauda equina syndrome should undergo surgery to make more space for the nerves (lumbar decompression) within 48 hours in order to have the best chance for complete recovery.
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