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Saddle Numbness: Could it be Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Saddle Numbness: Could it be Cauda Equina Syndrome?If you are losing sensation in your saddle area, it may be that you are suffering from loss of function of the cauda equina nerves.

What is the ‘saddle’ area?

The saddle area refers to the parts of the body that would touch a saddle when seated on a horse.

This would include the buttocks and anal area, the genital region or perineum and the inner thighs.

What is saddle numbness?

Tingling, loss of sensation and numbness in the saddle region could be a sign that you are developing cauda equina syndrome.

The loss of sensation may not be immediately apparent but if you find that you cannot feel when you wipe yourself after using the toilet, it may be that you are losing your awareness of sensation in that region.

A GP may use a pin-prick test to identify whether you have any loss of sensation as an indicator of neurological problems.

Why does cauda equina syndrome cause saddle numbness?

Cauda equina syndrome can develop when the cauda equina nerves in the lumbar region of the spine become compressed or squashed. This can cause them to stop functioning. Since these nerves are responsible for passing messages between the lower body and the brain, a loss of function can mean messages of physical sensation in the lower body do not reach the brain.

This can mean that the patient loses their awareness of the need to urinate as well as losing the ability to control urination.

Responding to Saddle Numbness

If you attend your GP or A&E service with a loss of sensation in the saddle area, you may be referred for an MRI scan.

If you are also exhibiting other symptoms of cauda equina syndrome such as lower back pain, pain and/or tingling in one or both legs and problems urinating, you may require an MRI scan as a matter of emergency.

This would be necessary in order to confirm the cause of your symptoms.

If it proves to be the case that your cauda equina nerves are being compressed, you may need emergency decompression surgery to try to prevent further deterioration. This procedure is considered to be most effective and most urgent when the patient still retains some control and awareness of urinating.

Failure to act

If your medical professional fails to recognise or act on your red flag cauda equina syndrome symptoms, they may be considered to have acted negligently.

The life-long physical and psychological effects of cauda equina syndrome can be devastating and, as a consequence, a failure to diagnose and treat this condition frequently leads to significant compensation claims.

Legal Advice

If you are suffering with the appalling symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to receiving a substandard level of medical care, you may wish to make a claim for compensation.

Contact us to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor. We have supported numerous cauda equina syndrome claims and would be very happy to advise you.

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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