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Emergency Treatment for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Emergency Treatment for Cauda Equina SyndromeIf you are suffering with cauda equina syndrome, you may require emergency surgery. A failure to provide this on the part of your NHS Trust may leave you with devastating, life-long symptoms and be considered an act of medical negligence.

Why is surgery sometimes an emergency?

If you are developing cauda equina syndrome but the condition is as yet incomplete, you are likely to require decompression surgery as a matter of emergency in order to try to prevent any further loss of function in your lower body.

If surgery is delayed and the compression of your cauda equina nerves worsens, the outcome of surgery is likely to be worse also.

The timing of surgery, therefore, is considered to be absolutely crucial to the long-term outcome for the patient.

What is ‘incomplete’ CES?

A patient who has ‘incomplete’ cauda equina syndrome will still retain some sensation and control of their urinary function. There may be signs that problems are beginning such as a change in the flow of urine or difficulty emptying the bladder, but they have not yet become incontinent of urine.

The complete loss or urinary function is seen as a turning point in both the development of the condition and the treatment of it as better results and greater chance of recovery of function is found when the patient is treated before the condition becomes ‘complete’.

The need for an emergency MRI

However, emergency surgery can only take place if the patient has been accurately and conclusively diagnosed with compression of the cauda equina nerves. And for this to happen, it is likely that the patient will need an emergency MRI scan.

Therefore, the onus is on medical practitioners to identify those patients who are at risk of developing cauda equina syndrome and refer them for the appropriate investigations.

Medical Negligence

If early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome such as pain and tingling in the legs and problems with urinating are not identified or a referral for an MRI is not made, the medical practitioner responsible may be guilty of medical negligence.

For the patient, the result of such negligence can be catastrophic, leaving them with double incontinence, sexual dysfunction and partial paralysis.

Legal Advice

If you have been the victim of such negligence and are suffering the long-term effects of a delay in surgery, you might consider discussing your situation with an experienced solicitor.

Glynns Solicitors is a specialist medical negligence legal practice. Contact us for free advice as to whether it would be appropriate for you 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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