It is all too true that the diagnosis of tumors of the cauda equina has been made notoriously late in the course of the disease.
One who looks over the literature on this subject is struck by the fact that most of these patients have been treated for long periods for disturbances other than that from which they were suffering. The most common erroneous diagnoses include sciatica, rheumatism, gallbladder disease, appendicitis, neuritis, Pott's disease (case 1 in our series), lumbago and sacro-iliac disease (case 2).
Spiller and Frazier1 found in their cases that the average duration of the disease before correct diagnosis was made was two and three-fifths years. Two of Cushing's2 cases were "of many years' duration." Elsberg3 reported a case of one and one-half years, while Hamill's4 patient suffered for ten years before the correct diagnosis was made and proved.
The apparent explanation of
WOLFSOHN JM, MORRISSEY EJ. TUMORS OF THE CAUDA EQUINA: REPORT OF TWO CASES. JAMA. 1926;86(24):1828–1831. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670500016006
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: