Cauda equina syndrome is a disastrous medical condition that can permanently impact bowel and bladder function, sexual function, your ability to walk, and more. While there is a lot of information about Cauda Equina Syndrome online, here we break down the basics of what you need to know.

1. Cauda equina gets its name from Latin for "horse's tail," because the nerves at the end of the spine look like a horse's tail as they extend from the spinal cord.

2. Nerve compression leading to Cauda Equina Syndrome is most often caused by a central lumbar herniated disc. That can be caused by lifting, twisting, or turning wrong.

3. Trauma to the lumbar spine – such as a car accident, fall, or gunshot wound – can also damage the cauda equina and produce symptoms.

4. Accidental medical causes – such as poorly positioned screws, lumbar punctures, and spinal anesthesia – can also cause CES.

5. Most common CES symptoms include weakness or tingling in both legs, numbness or tinkling in the saddle region (groin, buttocks, and genitals), bladder or bowel incontinence, and lower back pain. You must a doctor immediately if you have these symptoms.

6. MRIs are the most common method of diagnosing cauda equina syndrome. It is important that doctors do this test quickly and interpret the results correctly.

7. Early detection is crucial. Treatment must precede diagnosis; that is, prevention is key.

8. Surgery is required to fix the issue and prevent bowel, bladder dysfunction.

9. Though symptoms are similar, Cauda Equina Syndrome is different from conus medullaris syndrome.

If you or a loved one experienced CES due injury or medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. With over 80 combined years of legal experience, the personal injury attorneys of Lipkin & Apter are available for consult. If you have suffered injuries due to negligence, contact us to schedule a consultation.