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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 106-B, Issue 3 | Pages 227 - 231
1 Mar 2024
Todd NV Casey A Birch NC

The diagnostic sub-categorization of cauda equina syndrome (CES) is used to aid communication between doctors and other healthcare professionals. It is also used to determine the need for, and urgency of, MRI and surgery in these patients. A recent paper by Hoeritzauer et al (2023) in this journal examined the interobserver reliability of the widely accepted subcategories in 100 patients with cauda equina syndrome. They found that there is no useful interobserver agreement for the subcategories, even for experienced spinal surgeons. This observation is supported by the largest prospective study of the treatment of cauda equina syndrome in the UK by Woodfield et al (2023). If the accepted subcategories are unreliable, they cannot be used in the way that they are currently, and they should be revised or abandoned. This paper presents a reassessment of the diagnostic and prognostic subcategories of cauda equina syndrome in the light of this evidence, with a suggested cure based on a more inclusive synthesis of symptoms, signs, bladder ultrasound scan results, and pre-intervention urinary catheterization.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2024;106-B(3):227–231.

The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 98-B, Issue 11 | Pages 1427 - 1430
1 Nov 2016
Powell JM Rai A Foy M Casey A Dabke H Gibson A Hutton M

Many hospitals do not have a structured process of consent, the attainment of which can often be rather ‘last-minute’ and somewhat chaotic. This is a surprising state of affairs as spinal surgery is a high-risk surgical specialty with potential for expensive litigation claims. More recently, the Montgomery ruling by the United Kingdom Supreme Court has placed the subject of informed consent into the spotlight.

There is a paucity of practical guidance on how a consent process can be achieved in a busy clinical setting. The British Association of Spinal Surgeons (BASS) has convened a working party to address this need. To our knowledge this is the first example of a national professional body, representing a single surgical specialty, taking such a fundamental initiative.

In a hard-pressed clinical environment, the ability to achieve admission reliably on the day of surgery, in patients at ease with their situation and with little likelihood of late cancellation, will be of great benefit. It will reduce litigation and improve the patient experience.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:1427–30.