The British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative is starting recruitment for a national multicentre observational cohort study on ‘Understanding Cauda Equina Syndrome’. Recruitment starts on 1st June 2018 and runs for one year until 31st May 2019.

The objectives of the study are as follows:

  • Identify the number of cases of CES in the UK in all collaborating centres
  • Describe the presenting symptoms and signs in patients with CES
  • Describe the pathways of presentation to specialist spinal services for patients with CES in the UK and Ireland
  • Describe the type and timing of investigation of patients with CES
  • Describe the medical and surgical management of CES
  • Compare current practice to standards of care for CES
  • Describe clinical outcomes for patients with CES using validated patient reported outcome measures, stratified by presentation, investigations, and management
  • Demonstrate the ability of neurosurgical and orthopaedic surgical trainee networks to collaborate successfully on a prospective cohort study

In order to be recruited patients must be:

  • admitted between 1st June 2018 and 31st May 2019
  • over 18 years of age
  • able to provide informed consent
  • diagnosed with clinical cauda equine syndrome (defined below) and structural compression of the cauda equine on imaging
Clinical cauda equina syndrome

any disturbance of saddle sensation, bladder function, bowel function, sexual dysfunction and bilateral sciatica associated with radiological compression of the cauda equina. The cauda equina compression can be due to any cause, including, but not limited to, disc, tumour, infection, fracture, etc.


Please let Tom Doke and Aswin Chari know about any patient admitted who meets these criteria so that recruitment to the study can be discussed with them. Recruitment will be done during regular working hours.

Study electronic documents can be found in the following folder on the Neurosurgery lists shared drives: CES – BNTRC ,

and on this weblink:

Study paperwork will be kept in the labelled folder in 12E office.