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Reduction in Power in Legs from Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome leads to an array of symptoms, including weakness and poor reflexes in the legs. In this article we explore the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome in more detail, focusing particularly on the affect cauda equina nerve compression has on the lower limbs.

Cauda equina syndrome and leg function

Cauda equina syndrome is when the cauda equina nerves at the bottom of the spine are compressed and injured. The cauda equina nerves are responsible for providing sensation and function to the legs, saddle area and pelvic organs.

Therefore when the nerves are injured, sensation and function in all of these areas will be adversely affected, resulting in various symptoms. The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome which affect the leg include:

Other symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome will also cause other symptoms such as:

What to do if you have these symptoms

If you have the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, you must go straight to hospital. Alternatively you may want to see your GP first and get a referral directly to the orthopaedic/neurosurgery unit.

Either way, it is vital that you get medical help without delay. Once in hospital you should undergo an MRI scan and, if cauda equina syndrome is confirmed, emergency surgical decompression. Emergency surgery means that it must be performed within a day.

If doctors do not diagnose and treat your condition, your nerves will be severely damaged after around 48 hours of compression. Treatment must be provided within 48 hours of compression or the nerves will be permanently injured.

Failure to treat cauda equina syndrome

If clinicians do not treat your cauda equina syndrome in time, meaning you suffer ongoing neurological complications, there may be a case of medical negligence. Contact us to find out more.

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