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Anaesthesia or Paraesthesia: Cauda Equina Syndrome

Anaesthesia or Paraesthesia: Cauda Equina SyndromeWhether you are experiencing saddle anaesthesia or paraesthesia could be an indicator of how well you are likely to recover if you are developing cauda equina syndrome.

What are saddle anaesthesia and paraesthesia?

The saddle area refers to those areas of the body which would normally come into contact with the saddle. This would include the perineal and genital area between the legs, the area around the anus and the upper t highs.

Anaesthesia of the saddle area refers to a complete loss of sensation in this region.

Saddle paraesthesia refers to a tingling and possible numbness in this region which may subsequently develop into a complete loss of sensation.

Both symptoms can be caused by cauda equina syndrome but one is likely to suggest a more advanced stage of the condition than the other.

Cauda equina syndrome development

Cauda equina syndrome can develop when the cauda equina nerves in the lumbar region of the spine become squashed or compressed. This might happen if you are suffering with a herniated disc, for example.

When the nerves become compressed their ability to function properly is diminished. At first this might cause a tingling in the saddle region, or paraesthesia.

This is a red flag symptom of cauda equina syndrome and, if experienced alongside other symptoms such as leg pain and tingling and urinary difficulties, should merit an emergency referral for an MRI scan. This would be necessary to confirm the cause of the symptoms.

At this stage, the patient has not lost all sensation and, if they undergo emergency surgery, have a good chance of recovering function.

Anaesthesia

If the condition has deteriorated, however, and the patient is suffering with complete loss of sensation- or anaesthesia – in the saddle region, they may be less likely to recover lost function.

Diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome

It is crucial, therefore, that the early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are recognised for what they may be and the patient undergoes an MRI scan.

If the patient’s early symptoms are present but not recognised by their medical practitioner, thereby allowing a deterioration in condition to occur before surgery can be carried out, the medical professional may be considered to have acted negligently.

In these circumstances, it might be appropriate to pursue a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering with the appalling long-term impact of cauda equine syndrome, contact us to discuss your experience with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300, from a mobile click to call 01275 334030 or complete our Free Online Enquiry for a no cost, no obligation opinion.

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