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Is Cauda Equina Syndrome Misunderstood?

Is Cauda Equina Syndrome Misunderstood?A failure to understand the possible severity of cauda equina syndrome can leave the patient with a lifetime of disability. Such a scenario may justify a claim for compensation.

Understanding cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome can develop gradually or over a short space of time. It may exhibit as incomplete cauda equina syndrome or it may develop to become complete cauda equina syndrome. An understanding of the red flag symptoms of this appalling condition and the likely long-term impact should ensure that medical professionals respond with a sufficient degree of urgency at the appropriate moment.

Unfortunately, time and again, we encounter cases where symptoms have been ignored or misdiagnosed, allowing time for the patient’s condition to deteriorate. Once this has occurred, the long-term prognosis may be significantly worse.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

The most important aspect in the diagnosis of this condition is the medical professional’s understanding of the significance of the red flag symptoms.

A patient with lower back and leg pain who is also experiencing some loss of sensation around the saddle area or change in urinary experience may well be developing cauda equina syndrome.

It is not appropriate to delay diagnosis at this point.

A patient exhibiting such symptoms probably requires an emergency MRI scan. If a scan shows that the patient is suffering with compressed cauda equina nerves, they are likely to require decompression surgery as either a matter of emergency or urgency.

Red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

As well as probable lower back and leg pain, a patient who is developing cauda equina syndrome is also likely to be exhibiting some or all of the following symptoms:

A failure to understand the significance of these symptoms can mean that they become permanent and the patient may be both unable to work and dependent on care.

Medical negligence

If the delay in undertaking decompression surgery on a patient with cauda equina syndrome is due to a failure by medical professionals to investigate clear red flag symptoms, it may be considered that the patient has received substandard care.

If their long-term outcome has suffered significantly as a result, it may be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering from the long-term debilitating symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in diagnosis, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

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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