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Cauda Equina Syndrome Claims

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What is Cauda Equina?

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a form of spinal stenosis where all the nerves at the base of the spine suddenly become severely compressed.

The Cauda Equina nerve bundle are responsible for lower limb functions, including both walking and functions of the bowel and bladder.

There may be a number of causes for this, and often there will be a disc herniation in the lumbar spine due to ageing or injury. This causes pressure and compression on the nerve roots and, if it is not picked up early, prolonged pressure can lead to serious complications. The longer the compression of the nerve root, the more damage is caused which can be irreversible. As such, the condition is very serious and requires urgent treatment.

Consequences of failing to provide the correct care and treatment can be devastating, often leading to permanent loss of function of legs, bowel and / or bladder.

Who Diagnoses Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Given that the onset of symptoms can be very sudden, it is often down to front line doctors such as GP or 111 operators to identify the possibility of Cauda Equina Syndrome and to arrange emergency referral to the local Hospital for further testing, including scans and nerve conduction tests. The Hospital are thereafter responsible for making the diagnosis and ensuring that swift intervention is undertaken, which is usually by way of surgery.

Red Flag symptoms such as numbness in the saddle area, loss of bladder and bowel control, problems walking and lower limb weakness should be identified as possible signs of the Cauda Equina Syndrome and result in urgent treatment.

Negligence in Treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome

There are various examples that could be given in relation to negligent treatment here. These can include, but not limited to;

  • Failure to identify red flag symptoms and refer on for appropriate treatment in good time.
  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Negligent performance of decompression surgery leading to additional injury
  • Failure to perform surgery in good time to avoid permanent injury.
  • Misdiagnosis, such as mistaking sciatica for Cauda Equina Syndrome
  • Failure to perform the necessary diagnostic imaging or incorrectly reporting on the same

Complications of Cauda Equina Negligence

These can include, but not limited to:

  • Loss of bladder and bowel function leading to stomas, etc.
  • Loss of function in the legs, including paraplegia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Urinary retention
  • Sensory abnormality and numbness in the lower body
  • Sciatic pain

These complications are life changing and we acknowledge the challenges in recovery following Cauda Equina Syndrome, including the fact that often full recovery is not possible. Compensation could be obtained in successful cases that not only compensate for the injury, but also provide funding for aids and equipment, future care and assistance, even home adaptations to speak of a few.

Choose the Cauda Equina Claim Experts

Our legal team are highly experienced dealing with Cauda Equina Syndrome negligence. You can rest assured knowing you’re being looked after by medical negligence specialists who will ensure the process is as easy and stress-free as possible.

If you would like to contact us further to discuss your potential claim and to understand the legal options available to you, please do so.

 

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