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Compensating Misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Lower Back Pain

Compensating Misdiagnosis of Cauda Equina Lower Back Pain

Pain in the lower back or lumbar region of the spine may have a number of underlying causes. A failure to consider, and to warn the patient of, the possibility of cauda equina nerve compression may be regarded as negligent.

The cauda equina nerves

The cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine provide essential communication channels between the lower body and the brain. Without them, an individual can lose the following abilities:

  • Sensation and function in the bowel
  • Sensation in the saddle area and around the buttocks
  • Sexual sensation and function
  • Bladder sensation and function
  • Sensation in the legs
  • Movement of the ankles

Lower back pain may be a sign that the cauda equina nerve roots are becoming compressed and starting to lose their ability to function.

Cauda equina compression is fairly rare and it may well be that the patient's symptoms have an alternative cause. However, the potential severity of cauda equina syndrome is such that medical professionals need to assess a patient carefully for any indication of its presence and advise the patient of the red flag symptoms.

The impact of misdiagnosis

  • If the patient's symptoms are misdiagnosed, they are unlikely to be referred for an MRI scan which could confirm or rule out cauda equina compression as a cause of their pain
  • If the patient's symptoms are misdiagnosed, it is possible that the medical professional will not carry out the tests and assessment necessary to highlight cauda equina compression such as loss of saddle sensation
  • If the patient's symptoms are misdiagnosed, the medical professional may not warn them of the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome which mean the patient should attend hospital as a matter of emergency

A delay in diagnosis means a delay in treatment in the form of decompression surgery. Surgery at the optimum moment is key to a good outcome for this appalling condition. If diagnosis is delayed, the patient may have suffered further compression and function losses in the intervening time and their long-term outcome may be poor.

Medical negligence

If medical professionals are responsible for delays in diagnosis and surgery for this debilitating condition, they may be regarded as having provided substandard care.

If the patient suffers poor long-term health as a result of the negligence, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Legal advice

If you or a loved one are struggling with the shocking impact of cauda equina syndrome due to poor medical care, contact Glynns Solicitors for specialist legal advice.

Compensation claims for cauda equina syndrome negligence are complex and our years of experience in this field can provide you with the reassurance of the best support and attention.

Call us today if you or a loved one are struggling with the permanent impact of this shocking condition due to poor-quality medical care.

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

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