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Types of Problems Caused By Cauda Equina Syndrome

If cauda equina syndrome is not diagnosed and treated quickly enough, it can result in all sorts of long-term problems for the patient.

These include:

Bladder

The patient may have to assume an abnormal position in order to void (such as sitting for males or standing for females) and press upon the abdomen. Intermittent self-catheterisation can be needed if the bladder is not fully emptying, or recurrent urinary tract infections can arise.

Bowels

Bowel movements can be urgent, resulting in episodes of faecal incontinence. Conversely, large amounts of painkillers can cause constipation, requiring manual evacuation.

Saddle

The patient may have numbness in part, or all of, the saddle region. The saddle region includes the buttocks, perineum and thighs.

Genitals

This numbness can extend to the genitals, making sexual sensation non-existent. Males not be able to achieve/maintain an erection. Both males and females may find it difficult to achieve an orgasm.

Legs

The patient may have weakness and/or weakness in one or both legs. This can also involve weak ankles and dropped feet. This will affect mobility and balance, so much so that a wheelchair or walking aid is needed.

Employment

These physical injuries can create difficulties with employment. The patient may not be able to return to work, or may need reduced hours or adaptations to accommodate their symptoms. Even if the patient is able to work in some capacity, their injuries may put them at a disadvantage on the labour market. Their salary may also be reduced to reflect any reduced hours or duties.

Relationships

The physical and psychological damage can put relationships with family members/spouses/partner under immense strain. Intimate relationships can be particularly affected due to the loss of sexual sensation.

Hobbies

The patient may no longer be able to participate in any hobbies that were previously enjoyed.

Driving

The patient might not be able to drive because of their injuries, or may require special adaptations.

Sleep

The pain and other symptoms associated with cauda equina syndrome can make it hard to sleep. Medication may be required.

Psychology

Due to the loss of mobility, the patient can feel housebound and heavily dependent upon others. This lack of independence, combined with the physical and financial injuries, can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, depression and bitterness. There may also be low self-esteem and self-confidence.

Prognosis

If these injuries are still present two years after the event, it is likely they will be permanent.

Claiming compensation

If you have been left with permanent problems after cauda equina syndrome, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us to find out more.

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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