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Cauda Equina Syndrome After A Traumatic Accident

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a condition in which the nerves located at the bottom of the spinal cord become compressed. There are several ways in which this can happen, one of which is a traumatic accident. In this article we take a closer look at how trauma can lead to spinal nerve compression, what treatment should be given, and what is means if this treatment is delayed for any reason.

How does trauma lead to spinal nerve compression?

When medical professionals say a patient has suffered ‘trauma’, they mean that something has caused the body physical harm. This injury may derive from an accident such as a car crash, a penetrative wound such as a gunshot, or some other incident such as a fall or a fire.

Spinal injuries are unfortunately a very common consequence of traumatic injury, particularly with regard to road traffic accidents. The impact of a collision can crush the torso, damaging the spine, muscles, ligaments and tendons. This can cause significant problems for the person concerned, and in some very rare cases will lead to a secondary condition known as Cauda Equina Syndrome.

Cauda Equina Syndrome is when the nerves at the bottom of the spine are compressed. A traumatic accident is one way in which this can happen, as an injury to lower back (in the lumbar region) can subject the nerves to a certain amount of pressure. This may occur because a disc has slipped, the area is inflamed, or a collection of blood is surrounding the nerves. Whatever the exact cause, it is absolutely vital the pressure upon the cauda equina is relieved as soon as possible.

What treatment should be given to someone with Cauda Equina Syndrome?

When the cauda equina nerves are compressed a number of neurological symptoms will quickly develop. These will include extreme pain in the lower back and leg, urinary problems (such as the inability to void, decreased sensation and loss of control), perineal numbness and poor motor reflexes. Anyone who displays these symptoms and who also has a history of trauma (such as a recent car crash) must be sent for urgent tests to confirm whether or not Cauda Equina Syndrome is present. If imaging tests show that the nerves are indeed compressed, medical professionals must not delay in arranging emergency decompression surgery.

What happens if treatment is delayed?

If this treatment is delayed, the injury to the nerves will becomes progressively worse until the damage is so extensive that treatment will prove ineffective. This devastating result can occur within a very short space of time, often within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

If this has happened to you or a loved one, you will understandably be feeling extremely upset. This will be all the more true if treatment was delayed because doctors made errors that hindered a diagnosis and/or emergency surgery. If your cauda equina injuries have been caused because doctors made mistakes, you could be the victim of medical negligence. This means you will be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. To find out more, you need to speak to a solicitor today.

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