World neurosurgery | 19 Nov 2013
AM Tien Chau, LL Xu, NR Pelzer and C Gragnaniello
Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare but important neurosurgical emergency. Despite being a recognised clinical entity since 1934, there remains significant uncertainty in the literature regarding the urgency for its surgical intervention. The past decade has seen the emergence of the much referred to 48-hour limit as a possible window of safety. The ramifications of this time-point are significant for early patients who may subsequently have urgent treatment delayed, and for litigation cases after which adverse decisions are more likely to occur.
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