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Overflow Incontinence from Cauda Equina Syndrome

Urinary overflow incontinence is a symptom of complete cauda equina syndrome. This means it only develops in the later stages of the condition, when nerve damage is irreparable.

If you have suffered overflow incontinence because of cauda equina syndrome, you need to consider whether a delay in diagnosis and treatment is to blame.

What is overflow incontinence?

Overflow incontinence is when the bladder becomes so full that urine leaks out resulting in an episode of incontinence (i.e. the person wets themselves). This usually happens when bladder function and sensation has been lost.

CES and overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence is a characteristic symptom of cauda equina syndrome. The condition happens when the cauda equina nerves at the bottom of spinal cord become compressed. This might occur due to something such as a slipped disc or a spinal tumour.

As they are compressed, the nerves will suffer more and more damage and function will become increasingly compromised. Amongst other things, the cauda equina nerves are responsible for sensation and function of the bladder.

Therefore when the nerves are damaged bladder dysfunction will develop. The affected individual will noticed increased frequency, the need to squeeze when urinating and the inability to fully void. These symptoms are typical of the early stages of cauda equina syndrome, when the condition is said to be ‘incomplete’.

Eventually the nerves will be so damaged that there is no sensation whatsoever in the bladder. The affected individual will not be aware when he/she needs to go to the toilet, nor will he/she have any control over when to release urine. Consequently the bladder will become so full of urine that it overflows, resulting in an episode of incontinence. At this stage, cauda equina syndrome is said to be ‘complete’ because there is complete urinary retention.

Claiming for a delayed diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome

When cauda equina syndrome is complete, the nerves have been irreparably damaged. This means the patient will be left with long-term neurological complications such as bladder dysfunction.

If this has happened to you, you need to consider whether your cauda equina syndrome progressed to the complete stage while you were under the care of medical professionals. If so, it might be that doctors are to blame for you current condition, as they should have made a diagnosis and provided treatment before permanent nerve damage occurred.

To find out if medical professionals are responsible for your cauda equina complications, get in touch with us today. We are specialist cauda equina solicitors and will advise whether you have been the victim of medical negligence.

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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