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Cauda Equina Compression Causing Sexual Dysfunction

Cauda Equina Compression Causing Sexual Dysfunction

Cauda equina syndrome is usually associated with loss of bladder and bowel function, but sexual function can also suffer if this traumatic condition is not treated promptly.

Cauda equina compression

The cauda equina nerves, which control sensation and function in the lower body, are found at the base of the spinal cord. Consequently, they can occasionally become squashed or compressed if a person is suffering with a condition of the spine such as a herniated disc or a tumour which impacts on the space around the spine where the nerves are located.

Effects of cauda equina compression

The cauda equina nerves pass messages between the lower body and the brain, and, therefore, any loss of nerve function can impact on the legs and pelvic region.

Early symptoms of cauda equina compression, therefore, can include lower back pain as well as pain, tingling and weakness in one or both legs.

A more significant indication of cauda equina syndrome is the loss of sensation and control in relation to the bladder. This can mean that a person is no longer aware that they need to urinate and can have difficulty emptying their bladder, or cannot control their bladder at all.

A patient with cauda equina compression can also suffer similar problems with the bowel, leading to wind and faecal incontinence.

Effects on sexual function

Sexual function is likely to be affected if you are suffering with cauda equina compression. The loss of sensation can impact dramatically on the experience of sexual intercourse and it can lead to men suffering with erectile dysfunction due to loss of motor control in the genitals.

Understandably, this can have a dramatic effect on personal relationships and self-esteem.

Treating the problem

It is sometimes possible for these symptoms to be avoided if the cauda equina compression is diagnosed and treated promptly.

If the medical professionals recognise the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, such as those mentioned above, the patient should be referred for an MRI scan to confirm a diagnosis.

Where the patient still retains some urinary function, surgical decompression of the cauda equina nerves is usually required as a matter of emergency within 24 – 48 hours. It is possible that the patient may then recover function.

Medical Negligence

Where a diagnosis is delayed, however, leading to a deterioration in symptoms, the patient may be able to make a claim for compensation for their on-going problems.

Contact us if you are suffering with cauda equina syndrome that could have been diagnosed early enough to offer a chance of recovery.

We are a medical negligence legal practice, specialising in cauda equina syndrome claims and will be happy to advise you.

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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