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Cauda Equina Syndrome from Spinal Surgery

If you developed cauda equina syndrome after having spinal surgery, you could be the innocent victim of medical negligence. For more information, please get in touch with us today. We specialise in medical negligence claims and will be able to advise you on your legal rights.

If there are grounds for a medical negligence claim, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Spinal surgery results in cauda equina syndrome

Spinal surgery carries many risks, one of which is nerve damage. If the cauda equina nerves are injured, it can lead to a condition called cauda equina syndrome. This is when the cauda equina nerves are compressed and harmed, causing them to lose function. The cauda equina nerves lie at the base of the spinal cord, so such injuries are more common amongst people having lumbar surgery in their lower back.

One possible way in which the cauda equina nerves can become injury during lumbar surgery is nerve root traction. Nerve root traction is needed in order to gain access to the relevant area, particularly if there is a disc prolapse. This can affect the nerve root which exits the spinal canal at the level of the operation.

However, nerve root traction is not a mechanism which can comfortably explain multiple nerve root injuries affecting the sacral nerves and the central spinal canal. The only mechanism which can cause multiple nerve root injuries within the spinal canal would be excessive retraction of the spinal theca itself, or compression injuries caused by surgical instruments used to remove the disc fragment.

Therefore if multiple nerve root injuries are present, it is likely the damage was caused by excessive compression/retraction of the central spinal theca when accessing the disc space to remove the disc fragment.

Was my cauda equina syndrome caused by surgical error?

The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include:

If these symptoms were not present before the operation, but you developed them afterwards, it is reasonable to conclude that the operation itself caused the sacral nerve disturbance and injury.

But if you were experiencing the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome before the procedure, it is reasonable to conclude that you already had nerve root damage. If so, your symptoms should have been recognised and treatment provided.

Expert legal advice

If you suffered cauda equina syndrome due to surgical error, and/or your cauda equina syndrome was not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, you need to talk to a lawyer. You could be in a position to pursue a claim for compensation. Contact us to find out more.

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