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Neurological Losses in Cauda Equina Syndrome

Neurological Losses in Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome causes a number of neurological losses. In this article we explore what these neurological losses are and why they happen.

Cauda equina syndrome neurological losses

Cauda equina syndrome will lead to reduced neurological function. This will result in certain physical symptoms, including:

  • Impaired bladder sensation
  • Impaired urethral sensation
  • Impaired rectal sensation
  • Reduced sensation in the genitals/perineum/anus
  • Reduction in anal tone
  • Impaired sensation in the buttocks, legs and feet
  • Weakness in the legs and feet

Why do cauda equina syndrome cause neurological losses?

Cauda equina syndrome causes these symptoms because the cauda equina nerves at the bottom of the spine have become compressed. Compression can occur due to things such as a slipped disc, a spinal tumour or an abscess.

Whatever happens to be squashing the nerves, the effect will be the same: the nerves will become damaged and will not function normally. The cauda equina nerves have several jobs, including providing sensation/enabling movement in the bladder, rectum, legs and feet.

And that is precisely why the aforementioned symptoms arise: because the nerves that serve these areas of the body have been injured and are not working properly.

Are neurological losses permanent?

The neurological losses associated with cauda equina syndrome can be reversed, but only if decompression surgery is performed before the nerves become too badly damaged.

Every patient is different some will suffer an extreme disc prolapse that immediately causes complete cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves are irreparably harmed. But most will not progress to complete cauda equina syndrome until they have been experiencing symptoms for around 24 to 48 hours.

If decompression surgery is carried out quickly enough, the patient's symptoms can resolve, or will at least be greatly improved. However, a delay in care will mean that the nerves are badly injured and treatment will not repair the situation. These patients will sadly have neurological losses for the rest of their lives.

Delay in treatment because of medical errors

If you have suffered neurological injuries because doctors did not diagnose and treat your cauda equina syndrome before your condition became complete, you could be the victim of negligence. This means you would be entitled to pursue a claim against those at fault, at the end of which you would be awarded a sum of compensation to reflect the damages sustained.

To find out more about claiming compensation for cauda equina syndrome, please contact us today.

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