Cauda Equina Syndrome - Treatments

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cauda Equina Syndrome.
What was the treatment for your cauda equina?
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See what others are saying

Published: May 24

I was doing my dishes one morning and I coughed and I felt pain in my lower back. The pain was unbearable. I went to the hospital and they sent me for an emergency MRI. I came back and they just advised that my disc had slipped. I was sent for neurological block injections, which didn't work. I was still in a considerable amount of pain. One night it got unbearable, and I rung for an ambulance. I was taken to the hospital that would do my operation a few days later, due to the snow. When I came round after the operation I was told I had cauda equina syndrome (CES) and it was bad. No bladder/bowel function, paralysis in my right leg and the most unbelievable pain. I was sent to rehabilitation and spent six months learning to walk. I can now walk with two crutches, very short distances. I am mostly confined to my wheelchair I would not wish CES on anyone. It has changed my life forever and it will never go away..

Published: November 14

Twenty years ago, while being a letter carrier, I ruptured two discs, the L4-L5 & L5-S1. I then, periodically, suffered from severe pain and bouts staying in bed for weeks at a time. About 3 yrs. ago the pain became chronic and I went to an orthopedic surgeon who said "by no means should you have an operation!” I was actually pleased that he said that and began seeing a pain management doctor for the moderate daily back pain and started physical therapy. Approximately six months later my L5-S1 collapsed onto my spine causing CES. I lost feeling from the top of my thighs to my waist, could not urinate or defecate and had no sexual feeling in my genital area. I had emergency surgery and was told there was no spinal injury but my spine was "shocked" and it may take up to 2 years. to get the paralyzing feeling to get better but it was told in may never recover completely. Two yrs. later I have almost complete bladder function, minor sexual feeling, but I have a paradoxical sphincter which makes it impossible to deficate without a fiber diet and I use diluted saline enemas to remove any bowel movement that does not come out by pushing normally which for me is straining. Another issue which arose about a year after my disc collapsed was my uterus prolapsed, possible from lack of muscle usage or from straining repeatedly while have BM. I have been told if any symptoms worsen I should have a discetomy on my L4-L5 with relief of severe compression with small cushions? between the discs. I am hoping that eventually less invasion operations using lasers and smaller incisions might be possible in my case. I do feel as if my paradoxical sphincter will never return to its normal state although the inner muscles have been tested and have normal strength. All in all I feel lucky in most senses but I wish the surgeon had operated before the collapse had occurred..