Western Occupational & Environmental Medical Association
Leading Occupational & Environmental Medicine

WOEMA Journal Watch

Journal Watch screens articles and brings current information applicable to the field of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM). Targeted at front-line OEM practitioners, Journal Watch selects articles that address common diseases/disorders, practice guidelines, and interesting clinical conditions. Content includes a brief summary by the reviewer and a link to the document. Articles selected are intended to assist the practitioner in accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of conditions seen in the OEM environment as well as provide information of interest.

Through Occ-Q, Journal Watch offers a short quiz to assess understanding of the article by the reader. The WOEMA Education Committee is working in tandem with the Website Committee regarding possibility of issuing CME.


Cauda Equina Syndrome: A Comprehensive Review

This is an in-depth review of an
 important and often insidious condition. The authors present a summary of anatomic
 features, etiology, pathogenesis, history and physical findings, 
radiographic features, and surgical management.
Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) results from a variety of conditions that
 pressure the cauda equina and may result in disastrous consequences. The condition may be acute or chronic.  

Important clinical symptoms may include back pain, unilateral or bilateral
 radicular symptoms, saddle distribution sensory loss, lower extremity 
weakness, deep tendon reflex changes, and urinary dysfunction (either retention or 
incontinence). Erectile dysfunction may occur as well.
Approximately 2% of lumbar disc herniation result in CES suggesting, while not common, that it may well present to every physician who treats spinal
 injuries. MRI is the imaging procedure of choice but CT scan with myelography may be

Wide laminectomy and extensive decompression is the accepted surgical 
management, generally on an emergent basis.
The article offers additional information and an extensive reference list.

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