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Why is Surgery an Emergency in Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Why is Surgery an Emergency in Cauda Equina Syndrome?In essence, surgery is a matter of emergency in cauda equina surgery because, if surgery is delayed, the patient can be left with a lifetime of double incontinence, sexual dysfunction and severe mobility problems.

Surgery and cauda equina syndrome

If a patient is diagnosed with incomplete cauda equina syndrome, it is generally regarded as vital that they undergo decompression surgery within hours. This has been found to offer the best chance that they will recover the function in the lower body that they may have started to lose. This could include bladder control and sensation, feeling around the anus and the genitals, and sensation and control in the legs and feet.

If surgery is delayed and the patient loses further function during that delay, not only is the chance of recovery reduced, but there may be justification for a compensation claim.

The reason for this is that the delay in surgery may allow the patient to slip beyond the point at which surgery is most effective. The loss of bladder sensation is regarded as the turning point for the most effective moment for surgery. Whilst the patient retains some bladder sensation and control, there seems to be a better chance of overall recovery.

Claiming compensation for cauda equina syndrome

Emergency surgery can only take place, however, if the patient has received an accurate diagnosis of their condition and for this an MRI scan is usually necessary. This should show whether or not the patient’s symptoms are being caused by the compression of their cauda equina nerves, probably by a herniated disc.

Symptoms which should prompt a GP or A&E practitioner to request an emergency MRI could include the following:

If a patient presents these symptoms to their medical professional but they are not referred for further urgently investigation, they may be able to make a claim for compensation if their condition subsequently deteriorates.

Speak to a solicitor

If you or a loved one are suffering the appalling, long-term symptoms of cauda equina syndrome due to a delay in recognising your symptoms, call us. We are a team of specialist medical negligence solicitors, specialising in cauda equina syndrome compensation claims and we 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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