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GP Negligence and Saddle Anaesthesia

GP Negligence and Saddle Anaesthesia

Ignoring a patient's saddle anaesthesia may mean diagnosis is delayed and the patient may suffer appalling and permanent symptoms as a result.

What is Saddle Anaesthesia?

The saddle area is the region of an individual which would normally touch the saddle. This would include the area between the legs and around the genitals, the tops of the thighs and the area around the buttocks and the anus.

Anaesthesia refers to altered sensation such as partial loss of sensation or tingling and pins and needles. If a person experiences complete loss of sensation in this area, it is described as saddle parasthesia.

Why does it matter?

Saddle anaesthesia is a symptom of cauda equina syndrome. If a patient visits their GP with lower back and leg pain, they may be developing cauda equina syndrome or they may be suffering from another problem such as sciatica.

However, if that patient is also starting to experience altered sensation between the legs or in the saddle area, it is an additional sign which might indicate a diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome.

The patient might require an emergency MRI scan.

If they are indeed developing cauda equina syndrome, the sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better. If their medical professionals delay diagnosis and the patient develops saddle parasthesia and loss of bladder sensation, they may be left with lifelong loss of bowel and bladder function as well as mobility problems.

Timing of surgery

Saddle anaesthesia in cauda equina syndrome is caused by loss of function of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine. Unless these nerves are decompressed, it is possible that the loss of function will increase and the patient will experience worsening problems.

Therefore, the sooner decompression surgery is carried out, the more likely the patient is to recover function or, at least, not to suffer further deterioration.

If, however, the necessary surgery is delayed, the patient may have suffered further deterioration to the point where recovery does not occur.

Medical negligence

Therefore, if a GP fails to recognise and act on the possible symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and the patient suffers a poor outcome as a result, the GP may be regarded as having been negligent.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the shocking symptoms of complete cauda equina syndrome due to medical negligence, contact Glynns Solicitors to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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