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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Permanent Cauda Equina Syndrome Due To Diagnosis and MRI Delays

Permanent Cauda Equina Syndrome Due To Diagnosis and MRI Delays

As Sophie's symptoms deteriorated, there seemed to be little determination on the part of her medical professionals to identify the cause. Further delays undertaking an MRI scan meant that she has been left with permanent cauda equina syndrome.

Having experienced lower back pain for some time, Sophie decided to attend her GP. The GP arranged for an x-ray to be carried out, which indicated possible degeneration of the spine.

Sophie's pain then began to spread to her left leg and so her GP surgery referred her for an orthopaedic consultation.

Whilst she waited for her appointment, the pain and numbness in the left leg continued to get worse and, by the time she attended the musculo-skeletal appointment, she was experiencing pins and needles and numbness in her left leg and foot.

A week later Sophie woke up to discover that she now had pain and tingling in both legs. She went to A&E but, despite noting that her symptoms were deteriorating, she was told to return to her GP. She was not questioned about her bladder and bowel symptoms nor, crucially, was she warned of red flag symptoms which should alert her to attend A&E immediately.

With deteriorating leg weakness now causing her to trip and fall, Sophie attended a physiotherapy appointment a fortnight later. Following an examination, the physiotherapist made a referral for Sophie to undergo an MRI scan. However, this was not an urgent referral which would have been more appropriate.

When Sophie woke up in appalling leg pain four days later, she attended A&E again but was, once again, sent back to her GP.

Sophie's GP became concerned about her continued deterioration and provided her with a letter to return to A&E. Despite the GP's emphasis on the deterioration in Sophie's symptoms, no attempt was made to organise an emergency MRI and she was told that she would have to wait for her referral appointment.

Within two days, however, Sophie's symptoms had spread to her buttocks. Returning to hospital, she was finally admitted for an MRI scan. However, due to Sophie's extreme pain, the hospital felt unable to carry out the MRI and did not make any alternative arrangement until four days later when a CT scan was carried out which indicated that an emergency discectomy was necessary.

Sadly, however, by this time, Sophie had lost control of her bladder and her surgery consequently failed to bring about a recovery.

Sophie has been left with symptoms typical of complete cauda equina syndrome. She continues to suffer with severe pain and difficulty with mobility to the extent that she struggles with household chores. She also experiences bowel and bladder difficulties. Furthermore, she has been unable to pursue the career she had been working towards which has left her feeling angry about the quality of care she received.

Glynns supported Sophie in a claim for compensation for the long-term and distressing impact of the failings in her care and she received compensation in excess of £600,000.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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