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What Is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare but serious condition that requires emergency treatment. In this article we explore the condition in more detail, helping you to understand what to do if you or a loved one has been affected by Cauda Equina Syndrome.

What Causes Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a rare condition in which the nerves at the bottom of the spinal canal become compressed. There are a number of ways in which this can happen, with a traumatic accident, a herniated disc and a spinal tumour being some of the most common sources of lumbar compression.

When these nerves – known as the cauda equina – are subject to pressure, certain neurological symptoms will arise. Typically, this will begin with a pain in the lower back and legs, along with disturbed bladder and bowel function. Urinary changes are particularly noticeable, with urinary incontinence and the inability to urinate all tell-tale signs. These symptoms will gradually worsen until a patient is also suffering poor reflexes in the lower extremities, poor anal tone and reduced sensation in the saddle and genital area.

Can Cauda Equina Syndrome Be Treated?

The good news is that Cauda Equina Syndrome can be treated. However, the success of this treatment is directly linked to the amount of time a patient has been presenting symptoms. This is because the longer the nerves are compressed, the greater the harm will be. If compression continues for 48 hours or more, the damage will so severe that the injury will be irreparable. This means that although a patient will still undergo surgery to decompress the nerves, he or she will be left with permanent neurological complications. These can include urinary and bowel problems, sexual dysfunction and paralysis.

What If Cauda Equina Syndrome Treatment Is Delayed?

If there is a delay in treating Cauda Equina Syndrome, the consequences can be devastating for the patient and their loved ones. If this has happened to you, you must consider why treatment was delayed? Was it because medical advice was not sought until it was too late? Or was it because medical professionals failed to make a timely diagnosis, and/or failed to arrange emergency decompression treatment? If it is for the latter reason, in that your long-term complications are the result of medical incompetence, the standard of care will be deemed unacceptable. You will consequently be entitled to make a medical negligence claim for the damages you have sustained.

If you believe you or a loved one is entitled to compensation because doctors did not treat Cauda Equina Syndrome in a timely fashion, you must speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. The Cauda Equina Solicitors are experts in this area of the law and would be happy to discuss your case with 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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