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Myelitis Mistaken For Cauda Equina Syndrome

If your myelitis was mistaken for cauda equina syndrome, meaning you underwent unnecessary surgical procedures which adversely affected the ultimate outcome, you need to talk to a solicitor.

Anyone who has been the victim of substandard medical care in England or Wales is legally entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. For more information on cauda equina claims, please get in touch with our team of cauda equina solicitors.

Myelitis

Myelitis, or transverse myelitis, is a neurological condition that results in the inflammation of the spinal cord. It is not always known what causes the condition – sometimes it will be the result of an infection or injury, while other times the exact cause cannot be identified.

The inflammation can destroy the myelin, which is the protective layer that encases nerve cells. This will result in neurological dysfunction because the myelin help to transfer signals between the nerves and the brain.

The patient will therefore develop symptoms of a neurological nature, including back pain, weakness in the legs, numbness, bladder and bowel dysfunction and loss of mobility. These complaints can be permanent, leaving a patient profoundly disabled.

Cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is also a neurological condition. It happens when the nerves at the end of the spinal cord are compressed and therefore damaged. This disrupts the function of the nerves, resulting in very similar symptoms to myelitis.

The red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are described as sciatic pain, bowel and bladder dysfunction, loss of sensation in the genitals/perineum, deficit in the legs and anal laxity.

Diagnostic confusion

The similarity of symptoms can cause diagnostic confusion amongst medical practitioners. This may result in the wrong condition being diagnosed and an unnecessary course of treatment started.

If myelitis is mistaken for cauda equina syndrome, the patient may end up having one or more surgical procedures. Myelitis cannot be treated with surgical intervention, and instead medication is needed to target the cause and the symptoms.

What action can you take?

If an MRI scan does not show disc compressive cauda equina syndrome, medical practitioners should consider an alternative diagnosis, with myelitis being the most likely differential diagnosis.

Should medical practitioners make a misdiagnosis and this has a negative impact upon the patient’s condition, legal advice must be sought. If there has been a case of medical negligence, the patient will be entitled to pursue a medical compensation claim.

For more information, please get in touch with us 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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