The Spine Center

Highly skilled & patient-centered care.

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina is a rare condition that occurs when the nerve roots at the end of the spinal column are compressed or paralyzed, resulting in a loss of sensation or movement in the lower body, including bladder and bowel functions.


  • Children born with abnormalities that cause Cauda Equina
  • Fracture
  • Infection
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Ruptured disc
  • Trauma (car accident, gunshot, fall, etc.)
  • Tumor


  • Bladder/Bowel dysfunction - unable to hold it, or retaining waste
  • Loss of sensation in lower body
  • Pain, numbness, or weakness spreading to one or both legs that may cause you difficulty in getting up from a chair or causes you to stumble.


In order to make a diagnosis, the physician may:

  • Look at your medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
    • To test: stability, sensation, strength, reflexes, motion.
  • Order diagnostic imaging
    • CT scans
    • X-rays
    • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans


In order to relive the pressure or pinching of nerves, the substance is causing it needs to be removed through surgery. It is really important that a patient with Cauda Equina Syndrome seeks medical attention immediately because surgery may prevent further damage to nerves that is irreversible and cannot be repaired.