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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Over £1million Compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Over £1million Compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Celia repeatedly sought medical help over a period of six months for her symptoms. Doctors failed to realise she was suffering from the red flag signs of cauda equina syndrome. She is now in a wheelchair and is doubly incontinent.

When Celia started to experience sciatic-like symptoms, with pain in her right leg, and pins and needles in the foot, she was referred for physiotherapy. However, after several weeks there was no improvement.

She returned to her GP practice again and again, often seeing different clinicians. The senior service advisor noted that her symptoms were progressing, and she soon had reduced sensation around her perineum, buttocks and genitals, as well as severe lower back pain, leg weakness and urinary difficulties. In particular she had to strain and lean forward in order to urinate.

However, Celia was continually given painkillers and told to continue with physiotherapy. She would sometimes receive a diagnosis, such as sciatica or a trapped nerve. This continued for five months, until she was eventually referred for an MRI scan.

Celia did not receive the results of the scan for another month. While she was waiting her condition, she suddenly became worse. She found it difficult to urinate and could not feel anything when she wiped herself afterwards. She looked up her symptoms on the internet and found they matched a condition called cauda equina syndrome.

Celia made an emergency GP appointment and mentioned her internet research. The GP became annoyed and dismissed her, saying little could be achieved until the MRI scan results had arrived. Celia therefore chased the hospital on a daily basis until the results arrived but the letter confirmed that she had a slipped disc requiring physiotherapy.

Celia became concerned, knowing that cauda equina syndrome could be caused by a prolapsed disc. She called the hospital and, after some chasing, managed to secure an appointment with a consultant.

During this appointment, Celia explained all of her symptoms, after which the consultant became very worried. He asked another consultant to perform an examination, which led to Celia being instantly admitted. She underwent emergency decompression surgery for cauda equina syndrome that evening.

After one week in hospital she was allowed home. However, her condition is far from resolved. In fact, Celia's nerves are so badly damaged that she is confined to a wheelchair. She cannot look after herself and her partner has been forced to give up work to care for her. Celia lost her job because of extensive sick leave, so the couple have no income.

Along with her loss of mobility, Celia is doubly incontinent. She is in constant pain and suffers sporadic 'lightening bolts' of pain from her back down through her legs. Understandably she has become depressed and is reluctant to leave the house.

Sadly these symptoms are permanent, meaning Celia faces a lifetime of physical, emotional and financial injuries. All of this could have been avoided, had her condition been diagnosed and treated earlier. She was clearly displaying the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, but the medical practitioners she saw repeatedly failed to take note.

We helped Celia pursue a claim against those at fault and she was awarded in excess of £1,000,000 compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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