You are currently viewing Cauda Equina Syndrome Signs & Symptoms Mnemonics

The mnemonicCAN’T SEE, CAN’T PEE” can aptly describe the signs & symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome.

This syndrome is an exam favorite and is often asked in medical exams.

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare but serious condition that affects the bundle of nerves located at the lower end of the spinal cord, known as the cauda equina. The cauda equina is responsible for transmitting nerve signals to and from the lower limbs, pelvis, and perineum.

Signs & Symptoms Of Cauda Equina Syndrome :

  • C – Changes in bowel or bladder function
  • A – Altered sensation in the saddle area (perineal region)
  • N – Numbness or weakness in the legs or feet
  • T – Trouble walking or standing
  • P – Pain or discomfort in the lower back or legs
  • E – Erectile dysfunction or loss of sexual function
  • E – Excessive perineal pain or discomfort
  • C – Cauda equina compression signs (e.g., positive straight leg raise test)
  • A – Absence of ankle reflexes
  • N – Neurological deficits (e.g., muscle weakness, loss of sensation) T – Tenderness in the lower back or buttocks
  • S – Sphincter dysfunction (e.g., urinary or fecal incontinence)
  • E – Eye symptoms (e.g., blurred vision, double vision)
  • E – Emergency situation requiring immediate medical attention

Mnemonic: CAN’T PEE, CAN’T SEE


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department