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Cauda Equina
Is Foot Drop a Sign of Negligence?

Is Foot Drop a Sign of Negligence?

Foot drop can severely impair a person's mobility. If it is the product of poor medical care, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

What causes foot drop?

Foot drop is a symptom of cauda equina syndrome which results from loss of function of the cauda equina nerves.

One of the functions of the cauda equina nerves is to provide the stimulation for muscles in the lower body to work. This includes motor function in the feet. If these muscles do not receive the instructions to flex at the ankle, the patient can suffer from foot drop. In fact, it is possible to experience foot drop in both feet.

If the ankle is unable to flex, it means that the foot can drag when the patient tries to walk. This can make it very difficult and unsafe to walk.

Some people require a brace to support the foot.

If the patient is also suffering from weakness in the leg muscles, they may become reliant on a wheelchair for mobility.

Is foot drop negligent?

Whether or not foot drop is a sign of negligence depends on the circumstances surrounding the patient's diagnosis and surgery.

If diagnosis is made promptly once the patient has attended their medical professionals with symptoms of cauda equina compression, it is unlikely that they would be regarded as having been negligent?

A prompt diagnosis is crucial in cauda equina syndrome as, without it, the patient will not undergo vital decompression surgery, and their condition may deteriorate prior to surgery.

If this is the case and the patient suffers foot drop because their delayed diagnosis and surgery were due to failings by medical professionals, then it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

However, if the patient's symptoms were already advanced by the time they sought medical help, there may have been nothing more that medical professionals could have done.

Compensation claims

An individual suffering with foot drop is likely to be experiencing other cauda equina syndrome symptoms as well. This may include bowel incontinence, bladder problems and sexual dysfunction.

This appalling combination of symptoms often means that working and earning an income becomes all but impossible.

A successful compensation claim can help in recovering financial losses caused by the effect of the negligence.

Legal advice

If you or a loved one are struggling with the shocking effect of cauda equina syndrome due to poor medical care, contact Glynns Solicitors to speak with a specialist medical negligence solicitor with expertise in this condition.

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

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