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GP Management of Cauda Equina Syndrome

If your GP failed to recognise the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and therefore failed to refer you for further investigations, you could be in a position to make a claim.

How should a GP manage cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome may be defined as a complex of symptoms and signs consisting of lower back pain, sciatica in one or both legs, numbness in the saddle area, loss of bladder control and impairment of sphincter function.

Individually, these symptoms will not cause too much concern to a GP and will treat a patient’s complaint accordingly. However, alarm bells should start ringing if a patient is displaying these symptoms concurrently, as together they indicate the presence of spinal nerve compression.

It is therefore very important that a GP records a patient’s symptoms and recognises them as being suggestive of cauda equina syndrome. Using this knowledge, a GP should carry out an examination to consider whether there is a loss of function in the legs and pelvic organs. This will involve assessing whether there is numbness in the buttocks, perineum and genitalia, weak anal tone, and poor reflexes in the knees and ankle.

If this examination supports the suspicion of cauda equina syndrome, a GP should make immediate contact with the orthopaedic department or a spinal surgeon at the nearest hospital and arrange a same-day review. This is the only acceptable response to a suspected diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome.

Did your GP fail to diagnose cauda equina syndrome?

If your GP has failed to recognise the tell-tale signs of cauda equina syndrome and has therefore neglected to refer you to hospital for further diagnostic tests, there will be a case of medical negligence.

This is because in failing to spot the symptoms indicative of cauda equina syndrome, your GP will have provided substandard medical care, meaning it has fallen below an acceptable level. If this has caused you to suffer cauda equina complications, you will be in a position to make a claim.

It is very likely that this is the case, because when left untreated cauda equina syndrome will lead to permanent neurological complications such as the loss of bladder control, sexual dysfunction and chronic pain. This will turn your life upside down, leaving you with long-term pain and suffering.

If this is something that has happened to you, you deserve to be compensated for the damage your GP has caused you. To find out more about claiming against your GP for cauda equina syndrome, contact us at the Cauda Equina Solicitors today.

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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