How to know while waiting for MRI

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Hi there. My advanced Physiotherapist  has referred me for an MRI of lumbar region due to what she suspects is sacral nerve compression and possible Cauda Equina 

Meanwhile my GP has found a severe bacterial vaginosis infection and I’m on antibiotics. I’ve never had anything like this before. Could the two problems be related? 

I have had inflammatory arthritis and have several autoimmune diseases, one  which has cause neuropathy/ numbness everywhere so it is very hard to tell.  But my GP is telling me I should be very careful, not travel and phone as emergency if I get any worse until my MRI tells us what is going on. . I don’t know when my MRI will be yet but suspect a wait. So it would really help me to know how others found out they had partial or full Cauda Equina. Thanks 

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3 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tumtum1963,  You may have already looked up further information but have just seen your post and if you are concerned that you have Cauda Equinq Syndrome (CES), I would not wait for a routine MRI scan. Ask your GP why s/he is not sending you for an urgent MRI, particularly if you have any red flags. See following links:

    Once the diagnosis of CES is made, and the etiology established, urgent surgery is usually the treatment of choice. The goal is to reverse the symptoms of neural dysfunction. Left untreated, CES can result in permanent paralysis and incontinence. for cauda equina syndrome. Red flags and white flags. Systematic review and implications for triage.

    I obviously hope you do not have CES but certainly if you have back issues you need to be aware of the red flags or what your GP meant by 'emergency' so you know when to make that urgent call. Hope the above helps.  Kind Regards, Catherine.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for all this info Catherine. I have been slow to reply because I’ve been having other investigations today. 

      Tomorrow morning my GP is going to test my reflexes internally re numbness and worsening bowel dysfunction. My suspicion is that this relates to my autoimmune disease, Sjögren’s, and small fibre neuropathy which is progressive and incurable.

      So, in a way, it would be better to have early stage CES, than the condition already affecting my whole body to a degree - because possibly more can be done.

      My friend had full CES a few years ago and was very close to paralysis  - but thanks to quick response of a neurosurgeon , only sustained some moderate nerve damage.

      I will save all your links and, if the GP’s tests tomorrow morning do show the need for MRI then I will request this immediately.  Apart from anything else I hope to attend my mother in law’s funeral next week and I do need to know ASAP. 

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