The spinal cord at the level of L2 splits into a series of rootlets and strands that resemble a horse's tail or in Latin, "cauda equina". This area of the spine is particularly vulnerable to compression. And if the compression is not promptly recognized and surgically relieved, the harm to the victim can be devastating and permanent. Such harm can include paralysis of the lower extremities, loss of bowel and bladder control and , in men, an inability to initiate or maintain an erection. In this video I discuss the cardinal signs and symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (CES), the common causes of CES, and the key questions that a competent medical provider must ask in order to minimize the chance of missing this critical diagnosis.
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