Horse tail of the spinal cord symptoms
Interlocking lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal spinal nerves represents an anatomical structure, which is called horse tail of the spinal cord. The plexus of nerve processes is vertical, passing through sacral and lumbar spine.
Due to the fact that the plexus of nerves located in the lower part of the spinal cord has a fibrous structure, and it got its unusual name. Thanks to the impulses that send nerve endings that spinal division to the lower extremities, the person is able to walk. The important role of ponytail performs in the activities of organs of small pelvis.
A disease such as cauda equina syndrome occurs as a result of squeezing (compression) of nerve processes. This pathology occurs most frequently as a result of spinal injury or the formation of intervertebral hernia and cause pain and inflammation.
The severity of symptoms depends on what caused the pinched nerve in the spine. The stronger the pinched nerve is, the more prominent the pain. Sometimes the pain can be unbearable.
If the defeat of the nerve plexus was minor, the pain may not bring strong discomfort. It is localized in the lumbar region, and increases gradually descends. Upon further compression of the pain continues to spread, causing numbness and partial loss of sensation in the gluteus muscles, the coccyx, sacrum and groin and then thigh. There is a decrease in muscle activity in the legs.
In addition to the problems with musculoskeletal disorders, the patient’s impaired digestive and urinary organs.
The symptoms of cauda equina can manifest itself as constipation, excessive accumulation of urine, difficult urination, decrease in tone of anus, decrease the sensitivity of the sphincter of the urethra, discomfort during sexual intercourse. If a long time to ignore symptoms and not seek help to a specialized medical facility, disruption of bladder and bowel cannot be recovered completely.
Causes of damage, diagnosis and treatment
The defeat of the spine and spinal cord can result from mechanical injuries due to an accident, fall or other incident. Inflammatory processes that often occur as a result of infection of the spinal cord are also causes pinched nerve roots. Often as a result of mechanical injury to the spinal cord integrity is not affected but hemorrhage occurs. The resulting hematoma is pinching the nerve.
Cauda equina syndrome can result from postoperative complications or occur as a consequence of botched surgery. The defeat of the nervous processes is also called weakness of the intervertebral ligaments, the destructive processes in the disks, tumors or hernia. In addition, sometimes this pathology is an inherent feature of the structure of the lumbar spine.
The elderly pony tail is mostly formed due to deformation and degeneration of the intervertebral discs. These changes occur against a background of immobility and the wear and tear of the joints.
The preliminary diagnosis put by the doctor on the basis of inspection and complaints of the patient. In order to verify its authenticity and to identify the source of pinched nerve, the patient is administered:
- physical examination;
- a number of laboratory tests;
- computed tomography.
It is very important that from the moment the first symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and before treatment it took as little time as possible. If you delay, the damage to the spinal cord can permanently deprive a person of the ability to walk and control the process of defecation (urination).
Almost always the only correct solution is a surgical method of treatment. The nature of surgical intervention is to release the compressed nerve process and eliminate the cause of cauda equina syndrome. If the cause of the entrapment was the disc herniation, then the patient removes the part of the vertebra that presses on the nerve root. Some infringements can try to get rid of the conservative methods of treatment, but on the condition that the drugs will act very quickly.
If a pinched spinal roots was caused by inflammation (for example, Bechterew’s disease), the patient is prescribed the use of corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Infectious infringement are often treated with antibiotics. If the pressure on the plexus of nerve processes caused by tumor metastasis, for the treatment recommended radiation therapy.