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Cauda equina lesions, radiculopathies, and sphincter disorders 

Cauda equina lesions, radiculopathies, and sphincter disorders
Chapter:
Cauda equina lesions, radiculopathies, and sphincter disorders
Author(s):

David Bates

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198569381.003.0678
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date: 24 June 2018

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.

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