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Cauda Equina
Cauda Equina Dysfunction

Cauda Equina Dysfunction

If cauda equina syndrome is not treated in time, the patient will suffer a degree of dysfunction.

Permanent cauda equina injuries

Every case is different, but potential problems can include the following:

Leg pain with cramps and pains in the legs, along with sensory abnormalities. The legs can also be restless at night and can suffer involuntary spasms. These symptoms may be worse in cold weather and upon activity, making it hard to walk for long periods of time.

Lumbar back pain with a daily ache and intermittent severe flare-ups. This can affect mobility. A variety of painkillers may be needed on a daily basis to copy with the pain.

Sensory abnormalities with numbness in the legs, saddle area (perineum, buttocks and groin) and vagina/penis. Sexual sensation can also be abnormal or totally absent.

Leg weakness with weakness in the legs, which can be exacerbated by the sensory abnormalities. This can make it difficult to walk and extreme care must be taken to prevent stumbles, trips and falls.

Urinary dysfunction with reduced or no sensation when the bladder is full, and reduced or no sensation of urinary flow. This can necessitate intermittent self-catheterisation. Retained urine and the use of a catheter can cause recurrent urinary tract infections. There can also be incontinence without warning.

Bowel dysfunction with constipation requiring suppositories and manual evacuation/micro-enemas. There may be no sensation of rectal fullness or when wiping. Due loss of sensation can also lead to incontinence.

Impaired mood with depression and anxiety. Anti-depressants and counselling may be needed.

Effects on lifestyle

Such dysfunction cannot fail to impact upon someone's life. Patients often say they are a shadow of their former selves and are unable to do so many of the things they used to. This can effect a range of things, such as:

  • Domestic activities
  • Leaving the house alone
  • Driving
  • Self-care, including washing, dressing and toileting
  • Looking after children
  • Sleeping normally
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Maintaining a relationship with a spouse/partner

Dysfunction caused by medical negligence

Cauda equina dysfunction can have a terrible effect upon the life of the patient and their family. If the poor outcome was caused by delays in diagnosing and treating cauda equina syndrome, the patient could be entitled to compensation for the injuries they have wrongfully endured.

To find out more about claiming compensation for cauda equina syndrome, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors. We specialise in cauda equina claims.

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