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How Can The Repair Of Dural Tears Result In Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If you have been given treatment for a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and have subsequently developed Cauda Equina Syndrome, you will want to know why this happened, and whether or not there is anything you can do about it. Read on to find out more.

Surgical Mistakes That Cause Cauda Equina Syndrome

During lower spinal surgery, it is possible that the surgeon will accidentally nick the dura, the outer most layer of tissue that covers the spinal cord. This does not necessarily represent a substandard level of care, as the dura is very delicate and can be easily damaged.

If a dural tear is not identified at the time of surgery, it is possible that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will leak from the wound. If so, a patient must be returned to theatre and a repair carried out. In those who have had lower spinal surgery – perhaps for a slipped lumbar disc – the surgeon may choose to apply a fat graft or fat pad in order to stop the leakage.

However, it is vital that these fat pads are applied very carefully. They should not press upon the cauda equina nerves which are located at the bottom of the spinal cord. If this does happen, the nerves will quickly become damaged and a patient will subsequently develop abnormal urinary symptoms, including urinary incontinence.

Diagnosing Cauda Equina Compression

As soon as these problems become apparent, it is highly important that a patient undergoes further investigation. Medical professionals should be aware of the fact that the patient has recently undergone lower spinal surgery, as well as a secondary procedure in which fat pads were applied. These facts, along with the presence of urinary symptoms, should lead doctors to make a quick diagnosis of Cauda Equina compression. An MRI scan may be performed to help verify this assessment, but no time should be wasted in obtaining the results. It may be preferable to take a patient straight to theatre, as Cauda Equina Syndrome requires immediate surgical decompression if long-term complications are to be avoided.

Have Surgical Errors Caused You To Suffer Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If surgical errors – such as the application of fat pads onto the cauda equina nerves – have caused you to suffer Cauda Equina Syndrome, it is very likely that you will have been the victim of substandard surgery. This means that the surgeon and his team failed to display an acceptable level of skill and expertise during your operation, causing you to suffer an injury.

If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have wrongfully incurred. To find out more, contact us today at the Cauda Equina Solicitors.

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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