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Cauda Equina
Compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome due to a Herniated Disc

Compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome due to a Herniated Disc

Cauda equina syndrome, a disabling condition due to the compression of the cauda equina nerves, is usually caused by a herniated or prolapsed disc in the lower back.

Cauda equina syndrome and the spine

The inter-vertebral discs in the spine, located between the vertebrae, allow the spine to move and serve to reduce shock in the spine. Occasionally, however, they can cause pain and severe problems if the inner jelly-like substance pushes through the fibrous outer layer and presses on a nerve.

Depending on the location of the disc and the nerves affected, the symptoms can cause significant dysfunction throughout the body, affecting the bowel, bladder, limb function and sexual function. Sciatica is one painful condition caused in this way and cauda equina syndrome is another.

The cauda equina nerves are located in the lower back and are responsible for communicating messages between the brain and the lower body, thus enabling movement in the limbs and sensation and control in both the bladder and bowel.

A patient who is developing cauda equina syndrome is, therefore, often considered to be a medical emergency with immediate surgery necessary in order to preserve bowel, bladder and limb function.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

Consequently, if a medical professional is faced with a patient suffering from lower back pain, it is vital that they consider the possibility that the patient is developing cauda equina syndrome.

In addition to the lower back and leg pain which the patient is probably exhibiting, pressure on the cauda equina nerves would also start to cause neurological dysfunction. This is where the nerves are failing in their job and parts of the body cease to function as normal.

For example, the patient may feel less sensation between the legs and around the anus. Or they may have pins and needles in both legs. Or they may not find it easy to start urination.

It is vital that a medical professional assesses the patient thoroughly for any such signs of nerve damage. If they are present, the patient may need an emergency MRI scan to check for any signs of a herniated disc or other cause of nerve compression.

Negligence

If the medical professional fails to make such an assessment or refer for an MRI scan, the patient's herniated disc and nerve compression will remain undiagnosed. This will allow time for the patient's condition to deteriorate prior to any surgery being carried out. This is likely to result in a poorer outcome for the patient and may well justify a compensation claim.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering from the shocking, long-term symptoms and problems associated with compete cauda equina syndrome due to a diagnosis delay, contact Glynns Solicitors today.

We are a team of specialist medical negligence solicitors with considerable expertise in cauda equina syndrome claims. We will be very happy to discuss your situation and advise you as to the best way forward.

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

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