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Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation

Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation

Compensation payments for cauda equina syndrome are not simply an issue of whether the medical practitioners have been at fault, nor of the physical effects the patient may be suffering, but the long-term impact which those physical effects are likely to have on the patient's life.

How does cauda equina syndrome cause physical effects?

Cauda equina syndrome is caused by the compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spinal cord. These nerves are responsible for passing messages of sensation to the brain from the saddle area between the legs, the pelvic organs such as the bowel and bladder, as well as the lower limbs and feet. They are also responsible for stimulating muscles and reflexes in the lower body. When these muscles become compressed or squashed, their level of function reduces or ceases, and the patient ceases to experience sensation or function in those areas.

What are the physical effects of cauda equina syndrome?

Depending on the degree of compression, the patient may experience a range of symptoms:

  • Urinary incontinence,
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Wind incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Lower back pain
  • Weakness and numbness in the legs
  • Foot drop

The severity of these symptoms will also vary, so some people may experience complete double incontinence whereas others may experience urgency, meaning that they have some sensation of needing to go to the toilet but only have a short time to get there.

How will the physical effects influence compensation?

The amount of compensation the victim may receive will depend on the degree of severity of their symptoms, and the impact that those symptoms are likely to have on the rest of the victim's life. For example:

  • It may be necessary to move home or make significant changes to the existing home in order to be able to remain independent despite mobility problems
  • The patient may need a suitably-adapted vehicle if they are able to drive at all
  • Certain fields of work may become impossible if the patient experiences significant wind, bowel or urinary incontinence
  • It may be impossible for the patient to work at all
  • The patient may require significant care and support in day-to-day living
  • The patient may develop psychological symptoms due to their condition, further limiting their ability to work
  • The patient may need help to raise their children.

If the patient is fortunate and makes a good recovery, enabling them to return to work and function effectively, their compensation will be less because their on-going needs will be less.

If the long-term effects are more severe and likely to be permanent, the patient is likely to receive a far more significant compensation amount which reflects their on-going needs.

Medical Negligence Expertise

A successful claim for compensation for the long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome requires significant legal expertise and familiarity with the complexity of the condition and its effects.

Glynns Solicitors is a specialist medical negligence legal practice with considerable experience of pursuing cauda equina syndrome compensation claims.

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