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Cauda Equina Syndrome Disability

Cauda Equina Syndrome DisabilityIf a patient developing cauda equina syndrome does not undergo surgery at the key moment, they can be left with lifelong, disabling symptoms. If this is your experience, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

The cauda equina nerves

The cauda equina nerve bundle is located at the base of the spinal cord in the lumbar region of the back. Its function is to pass messages between the brain and the lower body. However, if the spine is compromised at that point by one of a variety of conditions, such as a prolapse or tumour, the nerves can become compressed. This can cause a deterioration of function.

Long-term mobility symptoms

If the nerves cease to transmit motor instructions to the legs, it can cause leg weakness, foot drop and, at worst, a loss of mobility. Patients may need to use crutches to move around or a wheelchair. In some situations, patients may need significant adaptations to be made to their living accommodation or to move home completely.

This effect can obviously reduce a person’s ability to travel and can severely impact on their professional and social life as well as causing significant psychological effects.

Incontinence symptoms

Loss of control of the bladder and, sometimes, the bowel are key symptoms of cauda equina syndrome.

At best, this may result in urgency and the need to remain close to toilet facilities. In more severe cases, the patient may become completely incontinent with the need for a catheter or colostomy.

Again, it can be seen that this could have a catastrophic impact on someone’s working life and social life. Many of our clients find that their entire life seems to revolve around their toilet requirements, severely restricting their inclination to leave the home and resume the lives they had prior to developing the condition.

Sexual dysfunction

Loss of sensation between the legs and around the genitals can also impact dramatically on someone’s sexual experience, sometimes putting considerable strain on relationships.

A man may find that he has lost the ability to achieve an erection.

The emotional and psychological impact of such a loss of function can be significant.

Timing of surgery

Where a patient develops cauda equina syndrome suddenly, it may be that there was no point at which surgery could have brought about recovery. Their loss of function and compression of the nerves may have been such that nothing could improve the situation.

The optimum moment for surgery is generally regarded to be at the point before the patient loses control of their bladder.

Medical Negligence

If a patient attends a medical professional with earlier symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and before the loss of bladder sensation, they should receive emergency attention in the form of an MRI scan to confirm the cause of their problems.

If your cauda equina syndrome is due to a failure to recognise or act on your symptoms before they deteriorated, you may be able to make a claim for compensation for substandard medical care.

Contact us to discuss your experience. We have supported numerous cauda equina syndrome patients and would 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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