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How Does A Lesion Cause Cauda Equina Syndrome

If a lesion occurs on the lower part of the spine, it is possible that it will press upon the nerves located at the bottom of the spinal cord. These are called the cauda equina nerves and serve the pelvic and sexual organs, and enable sensation in the legs, genitalia and buttocks.

What is a lesion?

A lesion is an abnormality in the body’s tissue. This might be a cut, an area of infection or a tumour (cancerous or benign). A lesion can occur anywhere on the body and may be caused by injury or disease. It is therefore a broad term that essentially describes an area of damaged tissue, either internal or external.

How does a lesion cause spinal nerve compression?

Sometimes a lesion will occur on the lower part of the spine. This can happen for a number of reasons, with some of the most common including:-

All of these things can place pressure upon the cauda equina nerves at the bottom of the spine, causing them to become damaged. This type of injury is called a cauda equina lesion and will cause the nerves to lose function, leading to symptoms such as the loss of sensation in the genitalia and buttocks, chronic back pain and altered urinary habits. When a cauda equina lesion results in these symptoms, a patient has a condition called cauda equina syndrome.

Treating cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency that must be treated quickly if a patient is to regain normal function. It is vital decompression surgery is performed while the condition is still in the incomplete stages, meaning there is still some urinary sensation. This should ensure a patient goes on to make a good recovery.

But if there is a delay and the condition progresses to the complete stage, decompression surgery will have little impact. This is because the cauda equina lesion will be so extensive the nerve root cells will actually have died. After this they cannot regrow and a patient will have permanent complications.

What if doctors do not treat a cauda equina lesion in time?

If there is a delay in diagnosing and treating a cauda equina lesion, it is necessary to ask why this happened. Sometimes it will be because a patient did not seek medical attention in time. But more frequently it is because doctors failed to recognise the problem, allowing the cauda equina lesion to become more and more extensive, ultimately leading to complete cauda equina syndrome.

If you have suffered because of such a delay, you could be entitled to claim cauda equina compensation. Contact us at the Cauda Equina Solicitors to find out more.

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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