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Correct Medical Management of Incomplete Cauda Equina Syndrome

Incomplete cauda equina syndrome must be treated immediately, before the nerves sustain any more damage. A failure to act quickly enough could lead to permanent disability. If treatment is not given in time because of medical error, there may be grounds for a compensation claim. Contact us today for more information.

How to manage incomplete cauda equina syndrome

The correct medical management, and indeed the standard medical management of incomplete cauda equina syndrome, is to refer the patient urgently through to the Casualty Department where an assessment can be made by the orthopaedic team.

Ideally the hospital will have direct access to either the Spinal Orthopaedic Surgeons or a Neurosurgical Team, both of whom often have acute on-call services. If the hospital does not have such services, the patient must be immediately transferred to a hospital which does.

The patient should then have an MRI scan on the same day, and this will demonstrate whether the cauda equina is being compressed. Most commonly the cause is a giant prolapsed disc at L5/S1. The patient should shortly undergo urgent surgical decompression.

Successful treatment of incomplete cauda equina syndrome

If surgical decompression is given in the very early stages of an incomplete cauda equina syndrome, the prognosis can be excellent. The patient may be free of bladder or bowel problems, with minimal residual sacral nerve disturbance and numbness in the perineal area.

But if treatment is delayed, the cauda equina syndrome will advance from incomplete to complete. Complete cauda equina syndrome (also called established cauda equina syndrome) is characterised by urinary retention.

A patient can remain significantly disabled from established cauda equina syndrome, with the following all being long-term symptoms of the condition:

Substandard medical management of cauda equina syndrome

If the clinical handling of incomplete cauda equina syndrome is substandard, it will cause the patient long-term neurological harm which could have been avoided with earlier treatment. If this has happened to you, please get in touch with us to talk to a lawyer. You could be able to claim compensation.

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