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Making a Claim for Delayed Cauda Equina Decompressione

Making a Claim for Delayed Cauda Equina Decompressione

If a patient is suffering with cauda equina syndrome it is likely that they will need to undergo decompression surgery to relieve the pressure on their cauda equina nerves.

Decompression surgery for cauda equina syndrome

The timing of this surgery is absolutely crucial to the patient's long-term outcome. If surgery is delayed, the horrific lower body symptoms may become permanent.

The cauda equina nerves provide sensation and movement in the lower body. As compression of these nerves increases, the loss of function increases likewise. If this process is allowed to go on for too long, the window of opportunity for surgery which may prevent further deterioration and provide hope for some recovery will be missed. If medical professionals are responsible for this delay, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation for the on-going impact such as loss of employment.

Ideally, decompression surgery for incomplete cauda equina syndrome should take place within hours of the onset of symptoms, rather than days. It is thought that after a delay of 24 to 48 hours, the patient's outcome may be less optimistic.

Key to timely surgery is a prompt and accurate diagnosis of the patient's early symptoms.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Symptoms which might suggest that a patient is developing cauda equina syndrome rather than sciatica often focus on the experience of sensation in the saddle area. Altered sensation or loss of sensation around the anus, buttocks and genitals might indicate CES as a diagnosis and require an emergency MRI scan.

Altered bladder sensation and control are key indicators and surgery seems to offer the best possible outcome when some sensation in the bladder is still retained. Once bladder sensation is lost, referred to as 'painless retention of urine', the optimum moment for surgery has passed. Action is necessary when the patient still has some bladder control remaining even though they may be finding urination difficult.

Claiming compensation

If medical professionals have caused a delay in diagnosis and surgery, they may be regarded as having acted negligently. If the patient suffers a poor quality of life as a result of the delay, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation.

Talk to Glynns Solicitors, specialists in medical negligence compensation and experts in cauda equina syndrome claims.

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