Lower back pain affects countless people every year, but there are instances where the pain isn’t caused by overexertion or a herniated disc. In some cases, the cause is a spinal condition known as cauda equina syndrome (CES), and if left untreated, it can cause lasting damage to the body. The cauda equina are a bundle of nerve roots located in the lower end of the spinal column in the lumbosacral spine (near the sacrum). If these nerve roots are compressed, it can lead to severe pain, numbness, limited mobility, and other serious issues. At the Colorado Spine Institute in Loveland, we can diagnose CES and provide the treatment you need to avoid several spinal problems.
The Effects of CES
It’s imperative that patients who have CES seek medical treatment immediately. If the pressure on the nerves isn’t relieved as soon as possible, the patient could experience paralysis of the lower extremities, impaired bladder and bowel control, and other issues. If you’re experiencing pain or numbness in the buttocks, inner thighs, or the back of the legs (the saddle area), it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Surgery might be necessary to relieve the pressure on the nerves and restore proper function.
What Causes CES?
Several things can lead to CES, including a herniated disc, a fracture, or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal column). Patients with acute onset CES usually develop symptoms rapidly, including severe low back pain, loss of bladder and bowel function, and limited mobility and sensation in the lower extremities. Those with gradual onset CES will notice symptoms over the course of a few weeks or months, and may experience back pain that comes and goes, as well as muscle weakness in their lower body. Both neurological and physical symptoms can be present, and it’s important to have an examination as soon as possible. CES can be an emergency situation, and should always be treated as such.
CES occurs more often in adult patients than children, but if the child is born with a spinal defect or has suffered a spinal injury, it is possible to develop CES. Pain following a car crash or impact injury to the spine is to be expected, but it’s imperative to remain in contact with your spinal doctor and let him or her know if you experience any of the symptoms associated with CES. Being proactive could save you from serious spinal problems in the future.
If you’re suffering from lower back pain, numbness in the legs, or other spine-related issues, please make an appointment with our Loveland clinic right away. Our staff will do whatever they can to make you feel at ease regarding your spinal condition, and will provide the treatment and medical recommendation necessary to return you to optimal health. We know that not knowing what’s happening with your body can be a scary experience, and we’ll do what we can to provide you with peace of mind.
Call now or visit us at 5285 McWhinney Boulevard Suite 145 today.
Colorado Spine Institute
4795 Larimer Parkway
Johnstown, CO 80534
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