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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Complete Cauda Equina Syndrome Following Back Operation

Complete Cauda Equina Syndrome Following Back Operation

Charlotte had not anticipated that undergoing a back operation would leave her with symptoms far worse than those she had originally been suffering.

When Charlotte was admitted to hospital for back surgery, she was not experiencing red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. She had been experiencing lower back pain for some time but was not considered to be suffering from cauda equina syndrome.

She was not experiencing any loss of sensation around the perineum or the anus and had no problems with urination or sexual sensation.

However, almost as soon as her surgery was completed, she started to experience difficulty with her bladder. She had no sensation of having a full bladder even though a scan revealed that that was the case. Consequently, a catheter was used to drain her bladder.

Loss of bladder sensation is a key red flag symptom of cauda equina syndrome but, unfortunately, the medical professionals who attended her at that time, assumed that her loss of sensation was due to having recently undergone an epidural for her back operation the previous day.

Charlotte had also started to experience other cauda equina syndrome red flags such as numbness of the legs and loss of feeling around the anus. Nonetheless, the medical professionals in attendance continued to blame these symptoms on the after-effects of her epidural.

In fact, Charlotte had developed a blood clot following her operation on her back and it was causing compression of her cauda equina nerves. She needed immediate surgery before the compression began to cause further neurological symptoms.

It wasn't until four days after she began to suffer symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, that another specialist recognised her symptoms for what they were and organised emergency decompression surgery for that same day.

Unfortunately, Charlotte had been left for too long before her symptoms were recognised as being indicative of cauda equina syndrome. Had her medical professionals investigated the symptoms she was suffering and organised the necessary surgery straightaway, it is highly likely that she would have recovered her lost function as her cauda equina nerves only started to suffer compression as a result of her surgery.

Consequently, Charlotte has been left with permanent cauda equina syndrome symptoms. She suffers with chronic pain and weakness in her legs, significantly affecting her mobility. She has very little control of her bladder and has to self-catheterise in order to avoid episodes of incontinence. She also has problems with bowel control.

Understandably, these symptoms, plus the impact on Charlotte's ability to work, travel and socialise has had a psychological impact, too.

Charlotte asked Glynns Solicitors to support her in making a claim for her negligent treatment and, following advice from our medical experts, received in excess of £1,000,000 in compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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