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Cauda Equina
Suing My GP for Ignoring CES Urinary Symptoms

Suing My GP for Ignoring CES Urinary Symptoms

If your back pain was accompanied by changes in your urinary function, it is likely that you required an MRI scan. If your GP failed to consider that you might be developing cauda equina syndrome, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Assessing for cauda equina syndrome

If a patient attends their GP with lower back pain, they should undergo a thorough assessment for signs of any neurological (nerve) dysfunction.

Cauda equina syndrome is caused by the compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine, and, as they become increasingly squashed, their function diminishes. This means that, as well as feeling back pain, the patient may start to suffer with pain, tingling and numbness in the legs, loss of feeling in the groin and changes in bladder and bowel function.

A delay in identifying these functional losses may mean that the patient is sent home with pain relief but no referral for further investigation. Consequently, their condition may deteriorate before a diagnosis is made and surgery carried out, causing them to suffer a poor long-term outcome.

Urinary symptoms

A change in the way someone feels when urinating is a sign that their back pain does not have a muscular cause but is due to nerve compression. The problem with this is that, whereas muscular pain may improve, nerve dysfunction is likely to get worse if it is not treated.

A patient with cauda equina syndrome whose decompression surgery is delayed may be left with a lifetime of disability both in terms of bladder and bowel incontinence as well as loss of mobility and sexual function.

Urinary symptoms which might indicate that the patient is starting to suffer nerve dysfunction could include the following:

  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Loss of feeling when urinating
  • Poor flow
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Loss of awareness of needing to urinate
  • Incontinence

Medical negligence

If a patient explains that they are experiencing urinary symptoms as well as back pain but their GP fails to consider and act on the significance of these symptoms, the GP may be regarded as having provided substandard care.

If the patient presents with back pain but is not asked about urinary symptoms or warned of the significance of them should they arise, the GP may again be considered to have acted negligently.

If the subsequent delay in surgery means that you have suffered a worse long-term outcome, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation delay.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the appalling long-term impact of cauda equina syndrome because your GP failed to respond promptly to your symptoms, contact Glynns Solicitors.

We have numerous clients who have suffered permanent neurological dysfunction unnecessarily and will be very happy to help you.

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

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