What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare condition resulting from compression of the nerves roots at the very bottom of the spinal cord. These nerves control the bladder, bowel and sexual function. Symptoms can start suddenly and progress quickly, so early diagnosis and treatment is essential.

What are the warning signs?

  • Loss of feeling/pins and needles between your inner thighs or genitals
  • Numbness in or around your back passage or buttocks
  • Altered feeling when using toilet paper to wipe yourself
  • Increasing difficulty when you try to urinate
  • Increasing difficulty when you try to stop or control your flow of urine
  • Loss of sensation when you pass urine
  • Leaking urine or recent need to use pads
  • Not knowing when your bladder is full or empty
  • Inability to stop a bowel movement or leaking
  • Loss of sensation when you pass a bowel motion or wind
  • Change in ability to achieve an erection or ejaculate
  • Loss of sensation in genitals during sexual intercourse

Any number, or combination of these warning signs, could be symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome.
Seek emergency medical help immediately.