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Cauda Equina
CES Diagnosis Delayed Despite Perineal Sensation Loss

CES Diagnosis Delayed Despite Perineal Sensation Loss

Altered sensation between the legs, or in the 'saddle area' may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome. If your symptoms were dismissed by medical professionals, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Perineal sensation and cauda equina syndrome

Symptoms in the saddle area and around the genitals and anus can be key to a clinical assessment of cauda equina syndrome. A patient with lower back and leg pain, who is also exhibiting sensory losses between the legs or around the anus and buttocks may require an emergency MRI scan. This should identify if the symptoms are being caused by compression of the cauda equina nerves. A positive diagnosis should prompt emergency surgery to decompress the nerves and recover function.

Symptoms might present as tingling or numbness or loss of sensation in this region and it is a sign that the cauda equina nerves are struggling to carry out their function.

A failure to recognise the significance of these symptoms might mean that the patient deteriorates to complete cauda equina syndrome and suffers disabling symptoms for life.

Red flag symptoms

A patient who is only experiencing symptoms in the lower back and one leg may not need an emergency referral for an MRI scan. Nevertheless, it is vital that medical professionals advise such patients what symptoms they should look out for.

The symptoms which a patient needs to be aware of and which should prompt them to attend Accident and Emergency immediately would include the following;

  • Progression of leg symptoms to the second leg (bilateral sciatica)
  • Alteration or loss of sensation in the saddle area between the legs
  • Alteration of experience when urinating which might present as having to strain, or a poor flow, or leakage of urine
  • Numbness around the anus and buttocks
  • Altered bowel experience when defecating

Medical negligence

The following circumstances might be considered as substandard care in the assessment of a patient who might be displaying early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome:

  • A failure to test for sensory losses in the perineum and perianal area in a patient with lower back and leg pain
  • A failure to recognise the significance of altered perineal sensation and make the correct referral
  • A failure to warn a patient to check for these symptoms when they are already suffering from lower back pain.

Contact a solicitor

If you or a loved one are struggling with the appalling impact of complete cauda equina syndrome due to a medical delay in referring you for assessment, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact Glynns Solicitors, experts in medical negligence compensation claims, to talk to a specialist solicitor.

Please call us on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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