Which specialist consultations are needed for the treatment of cauda equina and conus medullaris syndrome?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Segun Toyin Dawodu, JD, MD, MS, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, CPE, MHCM, FAAPL  more...
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Consultations to different specialties are needed for acute care and follow-up care. Neurosurgery/spinal orthopedics consultation should assess the need for urgent surgical spinal decompression. Posterior decompression and stabilization offers at least equivalent neurologic outcomes as nonoperative or anterior approaches and has the additional benefits of surgeon familiarity, shorter hospital stays, earlier rehabilitation, and ease of nursing care. [16]

Plastic surgery may be needed if severe skin breakdowns occur.

For rehabilitation, the initial consultation may prevent possible complications, including contractures, and may offer the patient advice on bladder/bowel management, wound management, and the required physical therapy/occupational therapy and assistive devices; this would include follow-up, involvement of social workers, and vocational rehabilitation experts for home adaptation (needed on discharge).

A dietitian is needed to advise on optimizing the diet to ensure adequate caloric and protein intake. Patients with these syndromes often have an increase in metabolism associated with the healing process.

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