Cauda equina syndrome in a patient injured in a car accident
Zack Zdenek Cernovsky
Objective: Milder forms of the cauda equina syndrome remain often undiagnosed, particularly in persons injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). Method: Review of literature on cauda equina syndrome and the presentation of a case history. Case History: A 50 year old lady injured in an MVA 18 months ago still reports numerous post-concussive symptoms as well as the following symptoms of the cauda equina syndrome: numbness in her left leg and in the “saddle area,” severe urinary incontinence, instances of moderate loss of muscular control over her left leg, and severe tingling and some loss of feeling in her left leg. Due to her residence in a very remote and medically underserviced area, a physician treated her symptoms with opiate based analgesics which partly obscured some of her symptoms and delayed diagnosis. Discussion and Conclusions: More attention is needed by staff of emergency departments to warning signs of cauda equina syndrome in patients injured in MVAs. Rather than continuing to overmedicate patients with the addictive opiate based analgesics, scientific research is urgently needed on therapeutic use of relatively inexpensive, non-addictive, non-euphoric, and neuro-protective powerful anti-inflammatories such as cannabidiol for post-MVA pain and for non-surgical management of mild symptoms of the cauda equina syndrome.