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Is Loss of Sexual Feeling due to Cauda Equina Syndrome Negligent?

Is Loss of Sexual Feeling due to Cauda Equina Syndrome Negligent?

If a failure by your GP to recognise your cauda equina syndrome has left you without sexual function, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

The effects of cauda equina syndrome

The physical effects of cauda equina syndrome can be extensive and utterly devastating. At worst, they can include the following:

  • Inability to prevent the passing of wind
  • Inability to prevent the passing of faeces
  • Loss of bladder control, requiring the need for a catheter
  • Loss of sexual sensation and function
  • Weakness and changed sensation in the legs
  • Weakness or loss of ankle reflexes, creating 'foot drop' and loss of mobility

The severity and duration of the symptoms will vary depending on the extent of compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine.

The cauda equina nerves and sexual function

The cauda equina nerves are responsible for the awareness of sensation in the saddle region and the functioning of the sexual organs. If these nerves are damaged by, for example, trauma or a prolapsed disc, their ability to work can reduce or cease. This will, in turn, reduce the individual's experience of sexual sensation and function.

Sexual function and medical negligence

Losing sexual function because you have cauda equina syndrome is not necessarily a sign of medical negligence. It depends on why you have developed the complete form of this appalling condition.

If your severe symptoms developed suddenly, it is likely that there was little that any medical practitioners could have done to prevent your loss of function. Severe symptoms could be loss of bladder sensation or loss of feeling in the saddle area.

Equally, if you delayed attending a medical practitioner until your symptoms were advanced, it may have been too late for your sexual function to have been saved.

However, if you attended one or more medical professionals with early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and delays in diagnosis or surgery meant that your symptoms became irreversible, then you might be considered to have been the victim of medical negligence. Early symptoms might be lower back and leg pain accompanied by difficulties in urinating.

A medical emergency

Patients who attend a medical facility with the possible symptoms of cauda equina syndrome require investigation in the form of a MRI scan as a matter of emergency. Where medical professionals fail to recognise or act on these symptoms, leaving the patient to develop complete cauda equina syndrome, they may be regarded as having provided substandard care.

In these circumstances, making a claim for compensation may be an appropriate way forward.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering loss of sexual function due to delays in treating cauda equina syndrome, contact Glynns today to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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

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