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Cauda Equina Syndrome

Secondary to Lumbar Disc Herniation

A Meta Analysis of Surgical Outcomes

Spine Vol 25 No. 12 pp1523-1532


  • Definition of CES  as  a  severe neurological deficit  with clinical features of low back pain, sciatica, saddle anaesthesia, motor weakness, sensory deficit, urinary incontinence.

  • CES is the primary absolute indication for the acute surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation

  • There have been small studies recommending early rather than late decompression but others saying that late surgery can give satisfactory outcomes

  • Purpose of this study was to increase the statistical power of previous studies in the English literature of CES caused by herniated lumbar disc.

  • The aims were to

  • Find specific preoperative variables which are significantly associated with good or bad post op outcomes

  • Determine whether there is a correlation between the time of surgery after onset of CES and outcomes of surgery

 Materials and Methods

  • MEDLINE search from Jan 1966 to May 1999

  • Eligible studies (42 papers out of 104)

  • A collection of patients was only included if the following preop and post op variables were known

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