Spine Conditions

Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare but serious neurological condition that occurs when the bundle of nerves known as the cauda equina at the base of the spinal cord becomes compressed or damaged. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including lower back pain, numbness or weakness in the legs, and loss of bowel or bladder control. CES requires urgent medical attention to prevent long-term complications and disability.


The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can vary depending on the severity of nerve compression or damage. The most common symptoms include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Loss of sensation in the genital area
  • Reduced or absent reflexes in the legs
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Pain or discomfort in the buttocks or thighs



CES is typically caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or a tumor that compresses the cauda equina nerves. Other potential causes include spinal fractures, infections, or inflammatory conditions. Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing CES, including previous back surgery, trauma to the spine, or underlying medical conditions such as spinal tumors or spinal arthritis.

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