Chapter

Cauda equina lesions, radiculopathies, and sphincter disorders

David Bates

in Brain's Diseases of the Nervous System

Edition 12

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198569381
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640232 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780198569381.003.0678
Cauda equina lesions, radiculopathies, and sphincter disorders

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Pathological processes involving the spinal roots and cauda equina present with symptoms of lower motor neurone and first order sensory neurone damage. Pain is a common, though not inevitable, symptom. Pathological processes may be acute, as with a prolapsed intervertebral disc or chronic and extend over many years, as with spondylotic bony changes or structural diseases such as spondylolisthesis. The cauda equina carries innervation to the bladder, rectum, corpus cavernosum, and seminal vesicles and damage commonly presents with sphincter disturbance and impotence. In general the nerve roots throughout the spine and cauda equina are more resistant to injury and pathological processes than the spinal cord; rapid diagnosis and surgical intervention where indicated, may improve outcome considerably.

Chapter.  11850 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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