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What is Cauda Equina Syndrome and How can I Make a Claim?

5 August 2019

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Cauda equina syndrome happens when all of the nerves in the lower back become extremely compressed. It is a very rare disorder that must be treated as a medical emergency. Failure to seek urgent treatment can result in lasting damage that may cause incontinence and even permanent paralysis.

Cauda equina can happen as the result of a number of different reasons from a lumbar spinal injury due to a car crash, a ruptured disk in the lumbar area, to a birth defect such as an abnormal connection between the blood vessels. True Solicitors LLP investigates the main causes and symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and what action you can take if you have suffered due to a delayed or misdiagnosis.

Causes of cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome happens when the bundle of nerves of the bottom of the spinal cord (the cauda equina) is severely compressed. The nerves in this area transmit messages to the legs, feet and pelvic organs. Common causes of cauda equina syndrome include:

• A badly ruptured disk in the lumbar area
• A spinal lesion
• A spinal tumor
• A spinal infection
• A lumbar spinal injury caused through a car accident, attack or fall

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include:

• Back pain
• Problems with being able to pass urine
• Loss of control and sensation in the bowel
• Loss of sensation in the legs, buttocks, inner thighs and genital/perineal area.
• Sudden sexual dysfunction

How can medical negligence make the effects of cauda equina worse?

If a patient is exhibiting any of the common symptoms for cauda equina syndrome they should be admitted for an urgent MRI scan. If the MRI reveals that there is need for decompression surgery, to relieve pressure on the spinal cord, this should be done as soon as possible.

If the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are not spotted at the earliest opportunity and decompression surgery isn’t carried out within 48 hours the long term effects can be serious. Long term effects can be permanent and can include:

• Paralysis from the waist down
• Loss of mobility
• Incontinence
• Sexual dysfunction
• Severe pain

How can I make a claim for medical negligence?

If you believe that the delayed diagnosis or negligent medical treatment that you received contributed to making the long term effects of cauda equina syndrome worse, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. The compensation that you may receive can help aid your recovery and pay for ongoing care and support, home adaptations, loss of earnings, therapy and rehabilitation. True Solicitors are experienced in handling medical negligence claims and will conduct your claim with compassion, on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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Please Note: Estimate amounts are guidelines only. Your injury and recovery are as individual as you are. The amounts are guideline amounts only and any settlement will be based upon the evidence of medical practitioners.
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