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Cauda Equina
Claiming Compensation for Cauda Equina Disability

Claiming Compensation for Cauda Equina Disability

If the cauda equina nerves become compressed, the patient requires prompt diagnosis and surgery. A delay in achieving these outcomes can leave the patient with permanent disability and may justify a claim against the relevant medical professionals for compensation.

Lower body function

Pain in the lower back may have many causes. Where the symptoms radiate down one of the legs, the patient may be diagnosed with sciatica. However, the patient may actually be developing cauda equina syndrome.

Cauda equina syndrome is the compression of the cauda equina nerves and the associated dysfunction. The cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine are responsible for sensation and function in much of the lower body. If diagnosis of this compression is delayed, the nerve function may continue to deteriorate, becoming irreversible.

The possible permanent effects of cauda equina syndrome are shocking. If surgery to decompress the cauda equina nerves is delayed, the patient may face a lifetime with the following symptoms:

  • Loss of bladder sensation and incontinence
  • Bowel urgency and incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Loss of mobility

The impact of cauda equina symptoms

The impact of such symptoms can be utterly life-changing. The patient's ability to work, travel or even to live independently may be compromised. They may require specially-adapted single-storey accommodation as well as personal care.

The associated costs and possible loss of income can be significant and, where such problems are considered to be the outcome of poor medical care, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Medical negligence

If a patient attends a medical professional with the possible early signs of cauda equina syndrome such as lower back and leg pain, it is essential that they receive an appropriate response:

  • If there are no additional indications that the patient is developing CES, it would be appropriate to warn them of the red flag symptoms and advise them to attend a medical facility as a matter of emergency if those symptoms should develop
  • If the patient is exhibiting additional symptoms, such as alteration in bladder function or sensation, or altered sensation in the saddle area, it might be necessary to refer them for an emergency MRI scan. This would clarify whether the patient's cauda equina nerves were under pressure and, if necessary, ensure a prompt referral for decompression surgery.

A failure to respond appropriately to the signs of cauda equina syndrome may be considered as negligence. If the patient suffers long-term disability as a result of such a delay, a compensation claim may be a helpful way forward.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the appalling effects of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in diagnosing and treating this condition, contact Glynns Solicitors.

We have supported numerous clients in making highly-successful compensation claims for cauda equina syndrome and one of our specialist medical negligence lawyers will be happy to talk to you.

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

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