What is it about?

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare but serious cause of lower back pain. CES is caused by the compression of the cauda equina nerve roots, most commonly by lumbar disc herniation. CES usually presents with back pain associated with neurological symptoms such as sciatica, bladder dysfunction and saddle anaesthesia. Incomplete resolution of symptoms may lead to significant morbidity and medicolegal consequences.

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Why is it important?

Due to the potentially debilitating effects of missed CES, the British Association of Spinal Surgeons (BASS) have recently formulated an updated standard of care for these patients. Our review summarises these standards and provides a framework for emergency departments to quickly triage at risk patients, to help reduce morbidity and complication rates in patients with CES.

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This page is a summary of: Cauda equina syndrome, British Journal of Hospital Medicine, October 2023, Mark Allen Group,
DOI: 10.12968/hmed.2023.0012.
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