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    Cauda Equina Syndrome

    Being affected by the cauda equina syndrome is a very severe condition that should be treated as a medical emergency as its consequences can have very serious impacts on the patient’s life. It occurs when the spinal nerves at the end of the spinal cord (cauda equina) get compressed, which can hinder them from transmitting signals to the lower body organs as well as feet and legs. This can have long-term effects such as paralysis and therefore change the life of someone affected forever. It can mean that further medical support, rehabilitation and psychological therapy will be needed in addition to adaptations to the patient’s home and car. To make sure all of these expenses are covered, a claim for compensation with the help of an experienced solicitor can be a way forward, if the condition was induced by medical negligence such as a misdiagnosis or insufficient treatment.

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    What can be the long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome and how can it be diagnosed?

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    The long-term consequences of cauda equina syndrome vary but include severe neurological impacts on the patient’s health due to the compression of spinal nerves such as:

    • Strong back pains, weakness and loss of sensation in feet and legs
    • Incontinence due to loss of sensation in bowels
    • Sexual dysfunction due to loss of feeling in genital/perineal area
    • Inability to urinate

    If any of these symptoms occur, it is vital to speak to a doctor who will order an urgent MRI scan. If the results show signs of a cauda equina syndrome, the patient should then undergo decompression surgery as soon as possible, so that the pressure on the spinal nerves can be relieved. The sooner the operation is undertaken, the better are the chances of recovery.

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    How can a cauda equina syndrome occur and what needs to be done?

     

    There are several reasons for why a cauda equina syndrome can happen which include tumours on the spine, a slipped disc, spinal fracture or spinal infection or even negligent spinal surgery. If one of these things occur, it is therefore the doctor’s duty to make sure there is no compression of the spinal nerves and undertake the necessary medical tests such as an MRI scan. If medical staff fail to do this, the consequences for the patient can be dramatic and a claim for compensation could be based on this negligent misdiagnosis or failure to provide adequate treatment. An experienced solicitor will know how to deal with a situation like this and help the patient achieve the best possible compensation to mitigate the consequences of the cauda equina syndrome in the patient’s everyday life.

     

    What can a compensation claim help with?

    Despite covering any necessary medical expenses and loss of income, a compensation claim can also help to make sure the patient gets the best possible treatment for rehabilitation. This can include access to different forms of therapy such as physiotherapy, sex therapy and advice about continence.

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