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Cauda Equina Nerve Irritation

When the cauda equina nerves are compressed, the central nerve roots are irritated, resulting in a number of different symptoms.

Cauda equina compression

The cauda equina nerves are located at the base of the spine. They resemble a horse’s tail, and together provide sensory and motor function to the legs, perineum and pelvic organs.

If a disc slips in the lower back, it can press upon the cauda equina nerves, restricting the amount of blood and oxygen they receive. This will cause them to suffer damage, impacting upon neurological function. Along with a central disc prolapse, cauda equina compression can be caused by spinal tumours, traumatic accidents, inflammatory conditions, infection and abscesses.

Nerve root irritation

When the cauda equina nerves are compressed, it will irritate the central root nerves, causing severe lower back pain. This may extend down through the buttocks and into one or both legs, resembling sciatica. The compression will also limit the function of the nerves, leading to neurological problems such as:-

When these symptoms appear because of cauda equina compression, a person will have cauda equina syndrome.

Cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome must be diagnosed and treated without too much of a delay, otherwise the nerves will not recover. It is therefore down to medical professionals to recognise the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome in the early stages, before the condition advances to the complete stage. This is when a patient loses executive control of their bladder.

If medical practitioners fail to make a timely diagnosis, the standard of care will be called into question. If it is found that doctors missed opportunities to make an accurate diagnosis, the level of care will be deemed unacceptable. If this caused a patient to suffer wrongful harm – for example, he/she has been left with long-term complications that would otherwise have been avoided – there will be a case of medical negligence.

Speak to a solicitor

To find out more about cauda equina syndrome and medical negligence, please get in touch with us today. We specialise in cauda equina claims and will be able to provide professional and friendly advice.

If we believe that you have been subject to medical negligence, we will suggest that you are eligible to make a claim. Should you wish to proceed with litigation, we will pursue the claims process on your behalf, working to get the compensation you deserve.

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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