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Treating Complete Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a neurological condition. Without treatment, it will progress from the incomplete to the complete stage.

Incomplete CES and Complete CES

Incomplete cauda equina syndrome (CES-I) is the first stage of cauda equina syndrome. A patient will remain in the incomplete stage as long as he/she retains a degree of control over their bladder. There may be difficulty urinating along with reduced sensation, but a patient will be aware of when he/she needs to pass urine, and will be able to strain in order to micturate.

As the cauda equina nerves become more damaged, a patient’s symptoms will deteriorate. If treatment is not given, the nerves will become severely injured and the patient will have progressed to the complete stage of cauda equina syndrome (CES-R). At this point, a patient will have no sensation in their bladder. He/she will not be aware of the need to pass urine, nor will they be able to do so. This means the bladder will continue to fill with urine until it overflows. This is called urinary incontinence overflow and will be totally painless.

Treating complete CES

Once a patient has progressed to complete CES, the nerves have become irreparably damaged and treatment will have little effect. Therefore it is reasonable to treat patients with complete CES on an urgent basis. Ordinarily this would entail carrying out surgery the following day to decompress the nerves. There is no compelling argument for emergency surgery as the damage has already been done.

Treating incomplete CES

On the other hand, a patient who presents with incomplete CES must undergo emergency surgery. This means that surgery must be carried out the same day, even if this necessitates a night-time operation. This is the only way to prevent the condition progressing to the complete stage, which inevitably entails long-term damage.

If medical practitioners delay the procedure, and in the meantime the patient progresses to the complete stages, the standard of care will be deemed unacceptable. If this is something to have affected you, you need to speak to a solicitor about claiming compensation for the damages incurred.

Claiming for cauda equina syndrome

If your cauda equina syndrome was not treated in timely fashion, causing you to suffer preventable complications, you could be entitled to pursue a medical negligence compensation claim. To find out more, get in touch with us today and speak to a specialist solicitor.

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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