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Cauda Equina Lesion

cauda-equinaCauda equina syndrome can be caused by space-occupying lesions such as spinal tumours and abscesses.

If these lesions are not diagnosed and treated quickly enough, the patient will suffer permanent neurological damage from cauda equina syndrome.

If you have experienced long-term harm as a result of a cauda equina lesion, please contact us today. We will advise whether you have grounds for a claim.

What is a lesion?

A lesion can refer to an injury to the tissue, or an area of abnormal tissue change. Tissue change might relate to something such as a tumour, abscess or boil. A lesion can be internal or external and can arise anywhere in the body, including the spine. This can be very dangerous as a spinal lesion can encroach upon the spinal canal.

What is the spinal canal?

The intervertebral discs which make up the spine are stacked on top of each other and have a hole in the middle. The spinal cord, which goes from the brain to the lower back, passes through this space.

The hollow space through which the spinal cord runs is called the spinal canal. It is also called the vertebral canal or spinal cavity.

Space-occupying lesions and cauda equina syndrome

If a lesion such as a tumour grows on the spine it can narrow the spinal canal. When the size of the spinal canal is minimised in this way, a patient is said to have a space-occupying lesion.

The spinal cord branches off into different nerves. At the bottom of the spinal cord is a bundle of nerves called the cauda equina. They provide motor and sensory function to the legs, pelvic organs and saddle area.

If a space-occupying lesion occurs in the lower spine, it can narrow the spinal cord to such an extent that these nerves become compressed. They are very sensitive, so the compression caused by this lesion will soon lead to nerve damage.

When the cauda equina nerves are damaged, they lose function and a patient has developed cauda equina syndrome, a serious neurological condition.

Treating cauda equina syndrome

If cauda equina syndrome arises due to a space-occupying lesion, it must be treated immediately. Otherwise the nerves will suffer extensive harm and cannot be restored. The patient will be left with ongoing neurological dysfunction.

A failure to diagnose and treat cauda equina syndrome that is caused by a lesion could amount to medical negligence. Contact us today to find out more.

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