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Physical, Financial and Emotional Damages for Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome can cause severe physical, financial and emotional consequences if not treated in time. These are explored in more detail below.

Physical consequences

Pain – ongoing pain may be present in the back and leg(s). There will also be a scar in the back after surgery. This can be as large as 10cm to 12cm in length.

Leg numbness – numbness may be an issue in one or both legs. This can cause significant balance issues.

Leg weakness – there may be weakness in one or both legs and ankles. This can be associated with the loss of muscle bulk, absent reflexes and foot drop. Consequently a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair or a walking stick, may be needed.

Bladder – there may be a degree of, or complete, urinary incontinence. A completely neurogenic bladder will require intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC). However, ISC can damage the urethra. If so a suprapubic catheter may have to be put in situ.

Bowel – the patient may also be incontinent of faeces and rely upon manual evacuation or enemas.

Sexual function – if male, there may be an inability to obtain/maintain an erection. In both males and females there may be a loss of sexual sensation and the inability to orgasm.

Financial consequences

Loss of employment – the patient may be released from work due to ill health. He/she may never be able to continue with employment, leaving them reliant upon benefits or a pension.

Reduced working capabilities – alternatively there may be some ability to work but with severely reduced hours or responsibilities. This can diminish salary expectations. It can also hinder the patient’s prospects on the labour market.

Social and emotional consequences

Driving – the physical symptoms associated with cauda equina syndrome may make it impossible to drive, although ‘Motability’ cars may be feasible.

Relations – relationships with a spouse, children and friends can become strained. The loss of intimacy with a partner may be helped with psychosexual counselling. The loss of mobility may make it difficult to care for children or socialise with friends.

Hobbies – the patient may not be able to participate in the hobbies once enjoyed.

Household chores – household chores may be restricted due to immobility and weakness.

Activities with daily living – assistance may be needed for everyday tasks such as dressing, washing and undressing.

Psychological – all the above consequences can lead to psychological injuries, with a loss of confidence, frustration, depression and a feeling of being ‘in the way’. This can make the patient reclusive and isolated.

Claiming compensation for your damages

When you make a claim for cauda equina syndrome, you will be awarded compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages you have suffered. If you would like to know more, please contact 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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