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Second Bout of Cauda Equina Syndrome

Although it is unusual, cauda equina syndrome can recur, causing a patient to suffer a second bout of cauda equina compression.

Recurrent cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome must be treated with surgical decompression. As long as this treatment is provided without delay, there is no reason why a patient should not go on to make a good recovery.

However, this is a small risk that the cauda equina syndrome will return – often due to another prolapsed or sequestered disc. If this happens, a patient should waste no time in seeking medical attention.

Sometimes cauda equina patients delay in attending their GP or hospital, unaware that they are suffering a serious condition. Ordinarily this does not happen with recurrent CES, as the patient will most likely be aware of the red flag symptoms, having previously experienced the condition.

A patient who presents with the symptoms associated with cauda equina syndrome should be cause for alarm, prompting medical professionals to investigate the problem as a matter of urgency.

Suspicions should be especially raised by the fact that the patient has had a previous episode of cauda equina syndrome. This should be plainly evident in the patient’s medical records and is not something that should be overlooked by the treating clinicians.

Again, as long as immediate treatment is provided, there is no reason why a patient cannot recover from recurrent cauda equina syndrome.

Delay in treating recurrent CES

Unfortunately cauda equina syndrome is not always treated quickly enough – even in patients who have a history of the condition. If this is the fault of medical practitioners, there may be grounds for a medical negligence claim (also referred to as clinical negligence claims).

This is because medical practitioners have a duty of care towards their patients, meaning they must provide each patient with a reasonable standard of care. It is possible that the failure to diagnose and treat cauda equina syndrome in a patient who has previously had the condition will amount to a substandard level of care.

If a substandard level of medical care causes a patient harm – such as permanent neurological damage – there will be a case of medical negligence. In other words, were it not for the poor medical care, the patient’s outcome would have been much better.

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