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Cauda Equina
Negligent Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis and Cauda Equina Syndrome

Negligent Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis and Cauda Equina Syndrome

A delay in identifying spinal stenosis may leave the patient with permanent disability and may justify a claim for compensation.

Spinal stenosis and lower body function

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This process can occasionally cause cauda equina syndrome and requires urgent diagnosis in order to prevent a lifetime of disability.

If the space within the spinal canal is reduced, it can put pressure on the nerves. If this happens in the lumbar region of the back, the cauda equina nerves may become compressed and start to lose function.

The cauda equina nerves are responsible for a wide variety of lower body function and the loss of their capacity to work can render an individual unable to work and reliant on care. Function provided by these crucial nerves includes the following:

  • Bladder sensation and urinary function
  • Bowel control
  • Sensation in the saddle area and sexual function
  • Sensation in the legs
  • Use of ankle reflexes

A loss of this extent of function can be utterly life-changing.

Urgent diagnosis

However, an early diagnosis of this disabling condition, triggering emergency surgery, can prevent further deterioration and may restore some function.

In order for this to happen, it is essential that medical professionals recognise the early possible symptoms of this appalling condition and are willing to make a referral for emergency testing.

An MRI scan can identify if the cauda equina nerves in the lumbar region of the spine are suffering from compression. This confirmation of the clinical signs is necessary to prompt emergency decompression surgery.

Without an accurate diagnosis, or a suspicion that the patient may be developing cauda equina syndrome, a delay may allow the patient's condition to worsen and the optimum opportunity for surgery may be lost.

Medical negligence

If a patient presents to their medical professional with the possible early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, it is essential that the possibility of this shocking condition is taken into account.

This requires a thorough assessment for all possible signs and symptoms, a referral if necessary, and advice as to the red flag symptoms which should prompt an immediate attendance at Accident and Emergency.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one ar struggling with the appalling impact of cauda equina syndrome due to poor-quality medical care, contact Glynns Soicotrs.

We are a specialist medical negligence legal practice with a team of experienced solicitors who will be very happy to discuss your situation with you.

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

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