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Is Cauda Equina Syndrome Permanent?

Is Cauda Equina Syndrome Permanent?The difference between incomplete and complete cauda equina syndrome can represent the difference between recovery and a lifetime of disability.

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

The symptoms of complete cauda equina syndrome are extremely unpleasant, including the following:

For a patient who is developing this appalling condition, it would be good to think that it will not last a lifetime.

In fact, the duration of cauda equina syndrome can vary depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms at the time they undergo surgery.

And this is likely to depend on the speed with which they receive a diagnosis.

Timing in cauda equina syndrome

The timing of both a diagnosis and, where appropriate, decompression surgery is absolutely crucial in a patient who is developing cauda equina syndrome.

Once symptoms start to present, it is imperative that the patient is diagnosed and undergoes surgery before their bladder symptoms deteriorate to the point where they have lost sensation.

Whilst the patient still retains some awareness of the need to urinate, it would appear that the chances of a positive outcome from surgery are higher than if they do not undergo surgery until after they are in painless retention of urine.

This is because the loss of sensation as demonstrated by lack of awareness of needing to urinate also represents the increased loss of function of the cauda equina nerves which respond to those sensations.

Once the cauda equina nerves have lost their ability to recognise the sensations in the bladder, it seems that they are less likely to recover.

Therefore, a prompt diagnosis is crucial.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

If a patient attends their GP or A&E service with early symptoms of cuda equina syndrome, it is essential that they are referred for an emergency MRI to ascertain the causes of their symptoms.

These symptoms might include the following:

If the MRI scan shows the symptoms to be caused by compression of the cauda equina nerves, emergency surgery will probably be necessary to try to halt the further loss of function.

Medical negligence

If you or a loved are suffering the appalling long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in your diagnosis and treatment, contact us to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor. It might be appropriate to make a claim for 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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