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Cauda Equina Syndrome Surgery

cauda-equinaCauda equina syndrome requires surgical treatment. Without cauda equina syndrome surgery the nerves will continue to be compressed, creating more and more damage.

Medical practitioners must ensure that cauda equina syndrome surgery is carried out within a reasonable amount of time. A delay could leave the nerves irreparably harmed.

Lumbar decompression surgery

Cauda equina syndrome can only be treated with surgery. The operation required is called lumbar decompression surgery. As the name suggests, the purpose of the operation is to decompress the lumbar region of the spine, removing whatever is putting pressure upon the nerves.

There are a number of possible ways in which the nerves can become compressed. Often a patient will have a slipped disc in the L4-5/S1 section of the spine. Alternatively there may be a spinal tumour, spinal stenosis, a traumatic injury or inflammation.

Cauda equina syndrome surgery will aim to treat whatever is pressing upon the nerves. In some cases additional forms of treatment will be needed. For example, spinal tumours may necessitate radiotherapy, or an infection will require antibiotics.

How is cauda equina syndrome surgery performed?

Lumbar decompression surgery will entail the patient having a general anaesthetic. He/she will be placed on a curved operating table face down to better present the lower section of the spine. The surgeon will then cut into the tissue, revealing the lumbar region of the spine.

What happens next will depend upon the cause of compression, as well as the surgeon’s expertise. Indeed, there are different techniques that can be used during lumbar decompression surgery and one or more may be employed depending upon the circumstances.

The techniques that can be used are:

Are there any risks of cauda equina syndrome surgery?

All surgical procedures are associated with risks. Before consenting to lumbar decompression surgery, a patient should be advised of the risks, which can include:

Will cauda equina syndrome surgery work?

Cauda equina syndrome surgery is intended to alleviate the pressure being placed upon the nerves, preventing any further damage being done. If surgery is performed in time, the injury to the nerves will not be extensive and the patient will recover. This means they may be completely free of symptoms, or their symptoms may be significantly improved.

Sadly if the operation is not carried out quickly enough, the damage will be so great that the patient’s symptoms will remain indefinitely.

Legal advice

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