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Cauda Equina Syndrome From a Road Traffic Accident

Cauda equina syndrome can be caused by traumatic incidents such as road traffic accidents.

CES

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is when something compresses the nerves at the base of the spine, causing them to suffer damage and therefore lose function. Compression can be caused by a number of different factors, such as a tumour growing on the spine or an inflammation that narrows the spinal canal.

CES from a car accident

Another way in which cauda equina syndrome might arise is from a road traffic accident. A sudden impact such as a rear end shunt can cause physical trauma for those inside the vehicle. The trauma can be so severe that the spine is damaged, resulting in a slipped disc in the lumbar region (at the bottom of the back). An L5 slipped disc can press upon the cauda equina nerves, resulting in cauda equina syndrome.

What should you do?

If you develop the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome after being involved in a road traffic accident, you must seek immediate medical attention. The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are:

These symptoms may arise in the days following the accident, or they may take some months to develop.

Treatment for cauda equina syndrome

When you present with the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, medical professionals should take steps to confirm a diagnosis. This will include a thorough neurological examination, blood and urine tests (to rule out other conditions) and an MRI scan.

Once cauda equina syndrome is diagnosed, immediate treatment should be provided. The only way to treat cauda equina syndrome is with surgical decompression, during which the disc pressing upon the nerves is removed or shaved away. This will alleviate the pressure being placed on the nerves, ensuring they do not sustain any more harm.

Failure to treat

Treatment must be given without delay or the nerves will suffer so much damage that they cannot be repaired. If medical professionals fail to provide timely treatment – either because of a delay in diagnosis or because emergency treatment is not arranged – there may be a case of medical negligence.

To find out if you have been the innocent victim of medical negligence, please get in touch with us today. We specialise in cauda equina claims and will be able to advise you further.

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