Causes Of Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) involves the compression of the nerve roots at the end of the spinal cord. As stated by sources, the disorder affects one of thirty-three thousand to one of 100,000 individuals. This means it rarely happens.

It is typical for those with CES to feel pain in the lower back. In addition, you may feel different, or you may not even feel anything in certain areas like the legs, back of the legs, inner thighs, anus, groin, and feet. Cauda equina syndrome can also affect your sex life by causing the loss of sexual function. Conditions that affect the spinal cord are what causes CES. These causes are explained below.

Paget's Disease Of The Bone


Paget's disease of the bone is an uncommon condition that interferes with the replacement of old fragments of a bone with new ones. As a result, the bones become extremely fragile and large. Additional effects can include bone pain, bone deformities, loss of hearing, headaches, bowing of the legs, enlarged skull, and the development of arthritis. In most cases of Paget's disease, patients don't experience symptoms.

Though Paget's disease typically affects bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, and legs, it can develop in any bone of the body. A cause has yet to be discovered; however, research suggests age, gender, and family history are potential risk factors. Paget's disease is most likely to occur in adults pass the age of forty, particularly males. Those who reside in areas of Northern Europe such as the United Kingdom are also at high risk of the disease. There is insufficient evidence to the claims Paget's disease is the result of a viral infection.

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Herniation Of Lumbar Intervertebral Discs

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Herniation of lumbar intervertebral discs can also cause cauda equina syndrome. A herniated disk, which contains a gel-like substance, is the result of a tear in the outer layer. So when the disk ruptures, the substance leaks out through the tear and into the spinal canal. The substance subjects the spinal nerves to great pressure, causing pain and numbness from the lower back, also known as the lumbar spine, to the feet. It can also affect the thoracic spine (the upper portion of the back), but this seldom happens.

The chances of developing a herniated disk increase as the individual ages. While we get older, the disc begins to dry out, and therefore, lose its flexibility. In addition, a herniated disk could occur as a result of tobacco use, lousy posture, obesity, or having a physically demanding workload. You can prevent a herniated disk through regular exercise, learning how to lift things correctly, and practicing good posture.

Keep reading to learn about more causes of cauda equina syndrome.

Epidural Abscess


An epidural abscess occurs when pus gathers in the area between the dura mater (the membrane that protects the spinal cord and brain) and bones that made up the skull or spine. An epidural abscess can cause symptoms such as back pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, weakness in the legs, and urinary retention or incontinence.

The condition usually happens due to an infection from bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria has been linked with a variety of mild and severe conditions, particularly those having to do with the skin. Impetigo, cellulitis, pneumonia, and toxic shock syndrome are among the illnesses staphylococcus aureus causes. Patients who are obese, suffering from head injury, or have an infection of the ears or bloodstream have a great chance of developing an epidural abscess.

Despite the condition having severe effects, there are very few cases of epidural abscesses. The doctor may perform surgery to drain the substance out of the abscess.

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Epidural Hematoma

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Epidural hematoma (EDH) is defined as bleeding between the skull and dura mater. It is the result of a traumatic blow to the head. Symptoms can include a temporary loss of consciousness, vision loss in one eye, vomiting, paralysis (inability to control the muscles of one or more parts of the body), headache, and confusion.

Several risk factors are linked to the condition. For instance, individuals who have difficulties standing up without falling are very likely to develop an epidural hematoma. Certain activities like biking and skateboarding make individuals who don't wear protective helmets prone to brain-injuring accidents. Heavy drinkers are also at high risk for an epidural hematoma as alcohol can have serious effects on the brain. In addition, driving or riding in a vehicle without being buckled into a seat belt is dangerous.

Depending on the severity of the bleeding, the doctor will perform either one of several surgeries including the craniotomy or fine needle aspiration procedure.

It's time to get to know the next cause of cauda equina syndrome.


Atlantic Brain & Spine

Ependymomas are tumors that develop in the ependymal cells of the brain and spinal cord. Although children and babies count for most cases of ependymomas, these tumors can affect adults as well. With childhood ependymoma, the tumor is usually found in the brain and can cause the skull size to become enlarged. Adults, conversely, are more likely to have the tumor developed in the spinal cord. Furthermore, victims can experience headaches, vomiting, nausea, weakness in the legs, seizures, irritation, and vision loss with the tumors. As of now, it isn't known what causes the tumors to form. Males have a higher possibility of developing them than females.

Ependymomas, classified as Grade II ependymal tumors, happen the most frequently of all types which also include subependymomas and myxopapillary (Grade I) with analestic versions (Grade III). In overall terms, they are rather uncommon with two hundred cases reported annually in the United States.


    HealthPrep Staff