Conus medullaris is actually at the end part of the spinal cord located at the lower back. The nerve that passes through the Conus medullaris is the one that controls the legs, genitals, bowels and the bladder. Any malfunction that occurs in the Conus medullaris results to what they call the Conus medullaris syndrome. Mostly, the reason of malfunction is cause by a structure like tumor, hematoma and many more which puts pressure in the Conus medullaris.
Symptoms of Conus medullaris syndrome includes numbness in the leg, foot and groin or inner thighs; and low back pain. Other symptoms may include impotence, hard time walking, loss of bladder control and leg weakness.
Cauda equina syndrome is a disorder of the spinal cord. Both Conus medullaris syndrome (CMS) and cauda equina syndrome (CES) are complicated neurological disorders which can be apparent with a variety of symptoms. Patients may have symptoms of back pain, bilateral or unilateral leg pain, weakness and many more (Neurosurg Focus 2004).
Mostly these two syndromes are quite the same although they differ in the symptoms manifested. Symptom for CMS is sudden and bilateral while CES is gradual and unilateral. Radicular pain is less severe with CMS and more severe with CES. Low back pain is also the common symptoms of both syndromes but patients with CMS suffers more low back pain than CES patients. These are just a few of the symptoms and signs of CMS and CES and their difference.
Treatment for Conus medullaris syndrome really depends on the cause but generally treatment for CMS may include surgery, radiation therapy and intravenous corticosteroids. Home care is also possible with sufferers of CMS. CMS homecare may consist of an exercise program designed by your doctor for you and some medications to take to manage the pain. Medications like NSAIDs and acetaminophen for pain. It is important that you do not skip doses for prescribed medications for it to be effective and be aware too of the common side effects of the medicine you are taking.
There are risk factors too for Conus medullaris syndrome and this includes blood clotting disorders, blood thinners, back injury and newest lumbar puncture.
The outlook for patients who are suffering from Conus medullaris syndrome really depends on the cause and for those patients who have no control in their muscles in the legs it is most likely that they will lose the ability to walk since sufferers of CMS shows that about one out of ten patients will regains its ability to walk.