What is the pathophysiology of cauda equina syndrome?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

Cauda equina syndrome involves injury to the lumbosacral nerve roots in the spinal canal and is characterized by an areflexic bowel and/or bladder, with variable motor and sensory loss in the lower limbs. Because this syndrome is a nerve root injury rather than a true spinal cord injury, the affected limbs are areflexic. Cauda equina syndrome is usually caused by a central lumbar disk herniation.


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