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Treating Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is when the nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord become compressed. This can happen in a number of ways, with a slipped disc, a spinal tumour, infection and inflammatory conditions all being possible causes.

Early treatment of cauda equina syndrome

Whatever the underlying problem, it is very important the nerves are alleviated without too much of a delay. This is because when the nerves are placed under pressure, they will quickly become injured and will be unable to function properly. Consequently problems such as saddle anaesthesia, urinary dysfunction and chronic back pain will develop.

If the nerve compression is not treated, these symptoms will get progressively worse until someone has no feeling in their bladder whatsoever. Their condition is then said to be complete, which means the nerves have become so damaged the root cells have died. This is very serious because once they have died they cannot regrow. The person in question will then have long-term neurological complications.

How to treat cauda equina syndrome

So how can pressure being placed upon the cauda equina nerves be alleviated? The exact answer will depend upon the underlying cause of the condition itself.

For example, if someone has a slipped disc and this is pressing upon the nerves, decompression surgery will be required to remove the herniated disc. But if a patient has an inflammatory condition and this is causing the spinal canal to narrow, medical professionals must administer anti-inflammatory medication. It is also possible that decompression surgery is required, as this will be necessary in the majority of cauda equina cases.

Delay in treating cauda equina syndrome

No matter what the appropriate course of treatment, it is absolutely essential that it is provided within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. As long as treatment is given within this window, a patient should be able to make a full recovery. If 48 hours passes and still treatment has not been given, the prognosis is much less favourable and it is very likely that there will be permanent damage.

If there is a delay in treating cauda equina syndrome, it is necessary to ask why this happened. If medical professionals are to blame – perhaps because they did not make a timely diagnosis or appreciate the need for urgent treatment – there will be a case of medical negligence.

Claiming compensation for cauda equina syndrome

If this is something that has happened to you, you will be in a position to make a claim against the doctor or NHS Trust responsible for the mismanagement. To find out more about obtaining compensation, contact us at the Cauda Equina Solicitors.

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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