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Cauda Equina Syndrome MRI Scan

The presence of cauda equina syndrome can be confirmed with an MRI scan. This must be carried out without delay or the condition will develop to the advanced stages, resulting in permanent complications.

Cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is when the bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spine becomes compressed. This bundle is called the cauda equina nerves and they can be compressed in a number of ways, including a slipped disc, a spinal tumour and an inflammatory disease.

When pressure is placed upon the nerves, the will quickly become damaged and lose function. Because the cauda equina nerves serve the lower limbs and pelvic organs, symptoms will include urinary dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, numbness in the perineum and poor reflexes in the legs.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome with an MRI

These are the characteristic signs of spinal nerve compression and any patient presenting with these symptoms should be investigated for cauda equina syndrome. Medical professionals should take a history of a patient’s symptoms and perform a physical examination. Blood and urine tests should also be taken to rule out other illnesses.

If the symptoms, examination and test results all point towards cauda equina syndrome, no time should be wasted in performed an urgent MRI scan. Generally speaking, urgent means it must be carried out within 48 hours of a patient being admitted. This will clearly show whether or not the cauda equina nerves are being compressed, and if so, what the underlying cause is. A patient can then undergo emergency surgery to decompress the nerves.

Failure to perform an MRI scan

Unfortunately, however, medical professionals do not always use the evidence available to make an accurate diagnosis. Instead they listen to a patient’s symptoms and diagnose a different condition entirely. This diagnosis is made without a physical examination or an MRI scan being performed, which together would reveal the presence of nerve compression.

If medical professionals fail to diagnose cauda equina syndrome, despite the fact a patient is displaying the characteristic symptoms, the level of care will be considered substandard. There will therefore be grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim, as a patient will have suffered unnecessary complications as a result of a misdiagnosis.

Claiming compensation for cauda equina syndrome

If you believe your cauda equina syndrome was not managed appropriately by medical professionals, get in touch with a solicitor today. If you have been injured due to a negligent level of care, you will be entitled to claim compensation.

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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