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GP Failed to Test For Cauda Equina Syndrome

GP Failed to Test For Cauda Equina SyndromeThe early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can be mistaken for sciatica but a failure to test for additional signs can leave the patient with a lifetime of disability.

Early symptoms of cauda equina syndrome

In the early stages of cauda equina syndrome, the patient might attend the GP with pain in the lower back alongside pain, weakness and tingling down one leg. This could well be sciatica and the GP might diagnose it as such.

However, these symptoms could begin to deteriorate, suggesting that the patient is suffering with a different condition.

It is vital, therefore, that patients are warned what additional symptoms to look out for and tested for any signs that their condition might be more serious than sciatica.

Tests for cauda equina nerve compression

A sign that the patient might be suffering from compression of the cauda equina nerves is if they start to lose sensation in the saddle area. The patient might be feeling a tingling sensation in that area too and it would be important for the GP to ascertain that.

If they are starting to lose sensation around the anus, it could also be an indication that they are developing cauda equina syndrome.

A further sign might be if the patient is starting to experience difficulty with their ankle reflexes.

It would also be important to ask the patient if they are starting to experience unusual symptoms when urinating such as poor flow or having to strain.

If the patient is starting to develop these signs, it would probably be necessary for the patient to undergo an emergency MRI scan to confirm whether or not the cauda equina nerves have become compressed.

If this is the case, the patient will probably need emergency decompression surgery before their loss of function deteriorates still further.

Red flag warnings

If the patient is only suffering back and leg symptoms, it would still be important for the GP to warn them of physical signs which would warrant an emergency attendance at A&E. Such symptoms would include the following:

Medical negligence

If you or a loved one are suffering with the appalling long-term effects of complete cauda equina syndrome due to a failing by your GP to recognise your symptoms at an early stage, it might be appropriate to make a claim for compensation.

Contact us to discuss your experience with a specialist medical negligence solicitor with expertise in supporting claims cauda equina syndrome.

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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