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Cauda Equina Syndrome – warning signs and expected care

  • Published: Monday October 18, 2021
  • Category: Default
  • Tags: cauda-equina-syndrome,

The Cauda Equina (horses’ tail) is a bundle of roots at the lower end of your spine which communicates with your brain and sends nerve signals back and forth regarding the sensory and motor functions of your lower limbs and the organs in your pelvic region.

Cauda Equina syndrome is very rare and is caused by nerves in the lower back suddenly becoming severely compressed. Symptoms include- sciatica on both sides, weakness, or numbness in both legs, numbing around genitals or anus and urinary retention/ incontinence (which is not usual for you). These symptoms can appear rapidly or over the course of several weeks/ months and CNS can be identified on an MRI, CT scan or Myelogram.

Cauda Equina syndrome requires emergency hospital admission and surgery to relieve the pressure on your nerves. It is very time sensitive and the best time to be treated is within 48 hours of the onset of your symptoms. The longer Cauda Equina is left untreated, the greater the chances are of permanent paralysis and incontinence, impaired bladder or bowel control, difficulty walking and other neurological/ physical problems.

If you undergo surgery to treat Cauda Equina and it has impacted your ability to walk you may need physical therapy, and you may be advised to see a specialist if you have any incontinence/ sexual dysfunction. For long term treatment you may be given certain medication for your pain management or for better bladder/bowel control.

Cauda Equina may lead to a medical negligence claim if any reported symptoms are missed, this can result in the necessary MRI scan or surgery being delayed. If this is the case, then Cauda Equina deteriorates, and the symptoms become permanent.

If you have concerns that you or a family member have received substandard medical treatment and an injury has been suffered as a direct consequence, we may be able to investigate a potential claim for you, please contact Graystons Solicitors on 0151 645 0055.  Alternatively, you can email enquiries@graystons.co.uk and we can arrange to call you.