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Compensation For Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome Settled Claim And Case Studies

When seeking medical help for the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, Anita was repeatedly let down by her medical practitioners.

When Anita suffered a slipped disc in her back, it led to sciatica, for which she received chiropractic treatment. However, she could not afford this in the long-term and doctors said there was no other treatment available.

Having no other options, Anita simply lived with the pain in her back. This did not prevent her from carrying out a normal life. All that changed, however, one evening when she stood up from the sofa and excruciating shooting pains ran through her lower back and down both legs. She was in agony.

By the time the GP paid a home visit the next day, Anita had also developed numbness in her leg and bottom. After a brief examination the doctor prescribed some painkillers but this did little to alleviate Anita’s symptoms and the numbness was now spreading to her perineum. She was also having troubling urinating and could not fully empty her bladder.

The next day, Anita lost control of her bladder. She rang the out of hours surgery and an appointment was made for that evening, a Friday. During the appointment, Anita described all her symptoms to the doctor and mentioned the possibility of cauda equina syndrome. He dismissed her concerns, saying she definitely did not have CES.

Over the weekend Anita tried to continue as normal despite being completely numb in her legs and bottom. She was frightened but believed there was no reason to call the out of hours doctor, having previously been reassured she was fine.

Thankfully Anita did attend her GP on Monday morning. She saw a different GP who was very concerned about her symptoms. She had a thorough examination and was referred straight to hospital. She underwent two urgent MRI scans and a CT scan and was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome. She was operated on the following day, during which the slipped spinal disc was removed.

Incredibly the surgery was carried out just in time. Consequently Anita has regained 90% of the function of her bowels. She can urinate properly, but only has minutes to reach a toilet.

Anita also has a dull ache in her back which is ever present, and has altered sensation in her left leg, left foot, both thighs and pelvic region.

These complications could have been avoided had Anita been diagnosed when she was seen at home by the GP, or when she was seen by the out of hours doctor. Their failure to recognise her symptoms and/or order further tests amounted to a substandard level of medical care, which directly caused Anita unnecessary pain and suffering. We helped her make a claim for the damages she sustained, securing a settlement of over £80,000 compensation.

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

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