Cauda equina syndrome

Delay in diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome

Early diagnosis and treatment of cauda equina syndrome are vital to avoid irreversible permanent neurological damage. The condition occurs when the nerves in the spinal canal are damaged for a variety of reasons including disc herniation, spinal tumours or stenosis as well as traumatic injury and other conditions. If left untreated it can lead to loss of bowel and bladder control as well as a loss of sexual function, neuropathic pain and significant mobility issues for the future.

Symptoms and treatment

All medical professionals should be aware of and act upon “red flag” symptoms which include:-
  • Severe back pain and/or sciatica
  • Pain, numbness or weakness in your buttocks, legs or feet
  • Loss of sensation in your perineal, perianal or genital area.
  • Bladder and bowel problems to include loss of or altered sensation, initiating flow or incontinence
These symptoms warrant an immediate referral to the hospital. The hospital should make a swift diagnosis and ensure lumbar decompression surgery takes place urgently to avoid permanent damage. Delay in surgery or inadequate surgery can result in otherwise avoidable life-debilitating injuries.

How can we help, with your cauda equina claim?

If you have been left with life-changing injuries as a result of a failure to treat cauda equina syndrome urgently or adequately then this may have a huge impact upon your ability to work, carry out domestic chores and activities as well as affecting your relationships with others. A claim for damages can give you future financial security and help you to rebuild your life. Any damages you receive will be tailored to your needs and the impact upon you to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

A specialist team in spinal injury

We have a specialist spinal team who has worked with many individuals suffering from the impact of spinal injuries including those resulting from cauda equina syndrome. We understand the huge impact these injuries will have had upon you. Our team is familiar with the specialist issues relating to this condition and has particular expertise in the legal issues that can arise from claims of this nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare but serious medical condition that occurs when the nerve roots of the cauda equina, located at the lower end of the spinal cord, become compressed or damaged. CES is considered a medical emergency because the compression of these nerves can result in significant and potentially irreversible neurological problems.

The most common cause of cauda equina syndrome is a herniated disc, which is a condition where the gel-like material within the spinal disc protrudes and puts pressure on the nerve roots. Other potential causes include spinal tumors, spinal infections, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), trauma to the spine, or complications from spinal surgery.

The compression of the cauda equina nerve roots leads to a variety of symptoms, which may include:

  1. Severe lower back pain.
  2. Radicular pain: Sharp, shooting pain that radiates into the buttocks, legs, and feet.
  3. Weakness or numbness in one or both legs.
  4. Loss of sensation in the saddle area (the region that would come into contact with a saddle if riding a horse).
  5. Loss of bladder and bowel control, which can manifest as difficulty urinating or defecating, urinary or fecal incontinence, or a feeling of incomplete emptying.
  6. Sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction or decreased sexual sensation.

If left untreated, cauda equina syndrome can lead to permanent neurological damage, including paralysis, loss of bladder or bowel function, or impaired sensation in the lower body.

All serious injury and medical negligence claims are different and this depends upon when a final prognosis is known and a claim can be valued.

Once we obtain an admission of liability in your case we can request an immediate payment to help with your needs and put support in place.

Medical negligence claims rarely go to court, with only a small percentage of the more complex cases ending up there. However, in the unlikely event that your case reaches court, we will be by your side throughout the process.

It is important to pursue your claim as quickly as possible due to time limits and to also enable us to help you obtain compensation as soon as possible. This is especially the case in complex cases as the process can be lengthy.

You have to start your claim within 3-years (limitation period) from when the injury occurred or when you first became aware of any potential negligence or injury as a result. However, the time limit only begins when a child reaches 18 years of age.

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