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Will I Recover From Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If you have been diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome and continue to have residual neurological complications, you will understandably want to know whether you will make a recovery.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare condition in which the nerves located at the bottom of the spinal cord are compressed. This pressure damages the nerves, causing them to lose function. This will lead to symptoms such as lower back pain, sciatica, urinary dysfunction, bowel dysfunction and sexual dysfunction. When these symptoms materialise because of spinal nerve compression, a patient is said to have cauda equina syndrome.

Recovering from cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that can progress very quickly. As soon as compression occurs, the nerves will start to suffer injury. In a short space of time this damage will be so extensive that the nerve cells actually die, after which they cannot regrow. When this happens a patient will be left with long-term side-effects.

There is therefore a very small window of opportunity in which to diagnose and treat cauda equina syndrome. There is some debate as to how long medical professionals have to perform decompression surgery before permanent neurological complications ensue. Generally speaking, however, surgery must be performed before a patient’s condition becomes complete.

Incomplete and complete cauda equina syndrome

Complete cauda equina syndrome means the patient has painless urinary retention with overflow incontinence. This is opposed incomplete cauda equina syndrome, where a patient still has some bladder control.

If the nerves are decompressed while the condition is incomplete, a patient stands a good chance of making a full recovery. There may be some ongoing symptoms for the first year, but these can improve with time. However, if the nerves are only alleviated once painless urinary retention has occurred, it is very likely that a patient will face a lifetime of cauda equina complications. This will vary in severity, depending upon how extensive the nerve damage is. Normally there will be a degree of urinary incontinence, poor anal tone and paralysis.

Delay in treating cauda equina syndrome

If you have been one of the unlucky few to suffer permanent cauda equina complications, you need to consider why this happened. If medical error is to blame, you could be entitled to claim compensation. This might apply, for example, if medical practitioners did not diagnose and treat your condition, despite the fact you sought medical attention for your symptoms.

To find out more about claiming compensation for the terrible life-changing injuries you have been left with, contact us at the Cauda Equina Solicitors and speak to a legal expert today.

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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