2007 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 180-185
We retrospectively examined symptoms and findings characteristic of cauda equina tumors, and reviewed our surgical procedures used to treat them in 18 patients (9 males and 9 females). Neurinoma was the most common type of cauda equina tumor and most tumors involved the fourth to fifth lumbar spine levels. There was an average interval of 25.2 months between onset of primary symptoms and diagnosis of the cauda equine tumor. The initial symptoms were radicular ache in 3 patients (16.7%), and backache, buttock pain, or a feeling of lower extremity weakness in 5 patients each (28%). 12 of 18 experienced variation in the pain. Transient pain, sensory loss, and urination disorder were reported by many patients. There were 11 patients who complained of numbness after surgery. There were 14 patients who reported pain in the lumbar region or lower extremities before surgery. 11 of the 14 reported no pain after surgery, 1 reported improvement, and 2 patients reported persistent pain. However, not all of these patients needed medication for pain. Persistent numbness is a problem after treatment of cauda equina tumor. Early diagnosis before irreversible neurological damage occurs is important.