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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Cauda Equina Surgery

It can take a few weeks to recover from cauda equina surgery, and a further two years for function to return.

Recovering from cauda equina surgery

Cauda equina syndrome is treated with decompression surgery. This involves removing whatever is pressing upon the nerves – normally a slipped disc.

The operation itself can traumatise the muscles, nerves and bone, so it can take some time to recover from the procedure. Therefore do not be disappointed if you do not feel immediately better after surgery. Everyone is different, and it can be weeks or months before the body recovers.

During this time, you should be advised about your ongoing rehabilitation. Typically, a long course of physiotherapy is needed to help strengthen and mobilise the lower back and legs.

Recovering from cauda equina syndrome

Once the body has recovered from surgery, it will be a matter of time before the nerves are restored. This can take years to achieve, and generally speaking medical experts say that symptoms will improve for up to two years after decompression surgery.

Because of this prolonged recovery process, it is difficult to know what the patient’s outcome will be. Each patient varies, and some will regain almost normal function, whereas some will suffer permanent neurological damage.

Once two years has passed, the patient’s condition will usually remain static, meaning that further improvement is unlikely.

What will my outcome be?

The patient’s outcome is closely related to the timing of surgery. The earlier surgery is performed, the better the outcome will be. For the best results, decompression surgery should be carried out within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. After 48 hours, the chances of a patient regaining normal function are ebbing away.

f you waited more than 48 hours for an operation, you could be facing long-term injuries. This can include problems such as pain, bladder dysfunction (requiring self-catheterisation), bowel dysfunction (requiring manual evacuation) and sexual dysfunction.

Are medical practitioners at fault?

If you sought medical advice for your symptoms but a diagnosis was not made, or surgery was not considered urgent, there could be a case of medical negligence. This is because opportunities to treat you at an earlier stage were missed, leaving your nerves to suffer further damage.

If you have experienced a poor recovery because of medical errors, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors to discuss a compensation claim.

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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