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Saddle Anaesthesia and Cauda Equina Syndrome Negligence

Saddle Anaesthesia and Cauda Equina Syndrome Negligence

Missing saddle anaesthesia symptoms in a cauda equina syndrome patient can delay the emergency surgery necessary for a positive outcome.

What is saddle anaesthesia?

Saddle anaesthesia refers to the reduction or alteration of sensation and feeling in the areas of the body which would normally touch a saddle.

This relates to the region between the legs, the upper thighs, the buttocks and around the anus.

If an individual cannot feel their genitalia or is unaware of sensation when wiping after using the toilet, they may be experiencing saddle anaesthesia.

What causes saddle anaesthesia in cauda equina syndrome?

Saddle anaesthesia in cauda equina syndrome is caused by a failure of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine due to compression of those nerves.

If the nerves are being squashed by a herniated disc or a tumour in the spine, the cauda equina nerves can start to lose their function. As a key conduit of sensation between the pelvic region and the brain, a loss of function in the cauda equina nerves can mean that the individual starts to lose sensation between the legs and around the anus.

They may also start to lose control of their bowel, bladder and leg movement.

Saddle anaesthesia and CES diagnosis

Signs of saddle anaesthesia can be vital in assessing whether a patient is developing cauda equina syndrome.

If a patient attends their medical professional with lower back and leg pain, it is important that they are assessed for any additional symptoms which might suggest that they are suffering from compressed cauda equina nerves.

Saddle anaesthesia is a key indicator that the cauda equina nerves may be losing function. Bladder and bowel symptoms are also key to diagnosis.

Such symptoms should warrant a referral for an emergency MRI scan to confirm the underlying cause of the patient's symptoms.

A delay in confirming a diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome can allow the patient's symptoms to deteriorate before surgery is undertaken, leaving the patient with on-going and disabling symptoms.

A failure by a medical professional to assess the patient's level of sensation in the saddle area might, therefore, cause a delay in investigation and a delay in surgery and might be regarded as negligent.

Speak to a specialist solicitor

If you or a loved one are struggling with the long-term impact of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in diagnosing symptoms, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact Glynns Solicitors today to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about your situation.

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