Cauda equina syndrome: The ‘red flag’ symptoms everybody with back pain needs to know about
Herniated – or ‘slipped’ or ‘bulging’ – discs are actually quite common, and only a small proportion of people with them will go on to develop serious ongoing problems or need surgery.But there are instances when a disc problem can become a medical emergency – a condition known as ‘cauda equina’ syndrome – and urgent decompression surgery might be required.
While thankfully very rare, unless treated promptly cauda equina syndrome may result in permanent nerve damage, which can range from sensation loss and difficulty walking, to paralysis and impaired bladder and bowel control.
Remember, this is a rare and uncommon complication, but it’s useful to be aware of the ‘red flag’ warning signs. And if you’re concerned about back pain and sciatica, book a consultation with one of our experts.
Here’s a closer look at what cauda equina syndrome means and the possible warning signs: