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Reading: BNTRC: British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative Understanding Cauda Equina Syndrome

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NRCM 2017 Meeting

BNTRC: British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative Understanding Cauda Equina Syndrome

Author:

Julie Woodfield

Abstract

Introduction: Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare but potentially devastating condition caused by compression of the cauda equina nerve roots. The clinical syndrome can include bilateral sciatica, saddle anaesthesia, bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. The disabling nature of these symptoms has significant medical, social, and legal implications. Guidelines for the investigation and management of CES are based on evidence from small retrospective case series that include a range of presentations. Outcomes for those presenting with established loss of function may not be comparable to those with incipient symptoms. Arrangements for emergency imaging, patient transfer to specialist spinal units, and techniques for decompression also vary and could lead to differences in outcomes.

Aims: This study aims to provide evidence for appropriate investigation and management of CES through:

  • ascertaining the incidence of CES
  • describing the clinical and radiological features of patients who are treated for CES
  • establishing current practice in timing of investigations and choice of management of CES
  • determining patient outcome and service usage following CES diagnosis Patients

All patients over 18 years old treated for CES in a UK or Irish neurosurgical or orthopaedic spinal unit will be included. Patients will be identified via emergency admissions, and case ascertainment will be checked using coding records.

Comparator: Outcomes and management will be stratified by presenting features and timing and type of surgical intervention.

Outcome: Patient outcome will be assessed using validated patient reported outcome measures for back pain, leg pain, bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Health care services used over the following year will be recorded.

Study design: This is a prospective cohort study with patients identified on admission to a spinal unit. Patients will be asked to consent for use of their data, contact for follow up assessments, and data linkage with existing NHS and surgical registries.

How to Cite: Woodfield J. BNTRC: British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative Understanding Cauda Equina Syndrome. International Journal of Surgery: Protocols. 2019;15:16–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.29337/j.isjp.2019.03.017
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Published on 17 Jun 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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