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Cauda Equina Syndrome Tests

What can a medical practitioner do to speed up your cauda equina syndrome diagnosis?

Cauda Equina Syndrome TestsTo get a definitive diagnosis that a patient’s symptoms are being caused by compression of the cauda equina nerves, it is usually necessary for the patient to undergo an MRI scan. However, in order for a medical practitioner to consider if a patient is demonstrating the signs of cauda equina syndrome, there is a range of tests which could be undertaken.

Loss of sensation

One of the effects of cauda equina compression is the loss of sensation around the saddle area – that is, between the legs, around the anus and the genitals. The patient may not necessarily be fully aware of these losses but some simple tests may make it clear:

Muscle control

One of the effects of cauda equina syndrome is the loss of motor function in the lower body. A number of tests can flag up any issues with this that the patient might be experiencing:

Pain

Patients who are developing cauda equina syndrome usually present with severe lower back pain as well as pain radiating down one or both legs. A straight leg raising test can indicate where the cause of that pain may be sourced. If a patient lying on their back experiences pain when raising their leg to a limited degree, it may suggest problems with the cauda equina nerves.

Diagnosing cauda equina syndrome

Whilst red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome generally focus on urinary, bowel and sexual function, the above-mentioned tests can help to identify a patient who may need an urgent MRI referral.

A failure to act on symptoms of cauda equina compression can have a catastrophic effect on the patient and may be considered to have been medically negligent.

If you are suffering the appalling long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in your diagnosis, contact us to discuss your experience with a specialist medical negligence solicitor. You may be able 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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