Cauda Equina Syndrome Claims
Cauda equina syndrome is where a disc compresses the nerves found at the base of the spinal cord. Claims relating to cauda equina syndrome tend to arise when someone is having severe ‘red flag’ symptoms but these are missed by either a GP or a hospital clinician. Cauda equina needs to be diagnosed and treated quickly. Without prompt treatment, injuries can be debilitating and permanent.
If you believe there was a failure in your cauda equina syndrome diagnosis or treatment, our specialist medical negligence solicitors are here to help.
What is cauda equina syndrome?
It is not uncommon for people to suffer a ‘slipped disc’ in the lower part of the spine. This disc is the soft cushion of tissue that we have between each of our vertebrae that acts like a shock absorber. Normally when a disc slips, it will bulge out to the left or the right. This irritates the root of the main nerve to the leg on that side of the body. This can cause pain (known as ‘sciatica’), altered sensation and sometimes weakness in the leg on the side with the bulged disc.
In rare cases, the disc bulges out centrally rather than to one particular side. This condition is known as ‘cauda equina syndrome’. It can affect not just one or both legs, but also the buttocks and ‘saddle’ area (the area between the legs including the genitals). The result can be problems with bladder, bowel and sexual function.
How do cauda equina syndrome claims arise?
Most episodes of back pain and/or sciatica in one leg will get better with time. Treatment is usually managed by GPs without the need for hospital referral.
However, there are some symptoms that have to be handled very carefully as they may need specialist investigation, referral or at least specific warnings to be given to the patient as to what to do if the symptoms get worse.
The ‘red flag’ symptoms of possible cauda equina syndrome include:
- Sciatica in both legs
- Altered sensation in the buttocks and/or ‘saddle area’
- Difficulty in lifting one or both feet
- Problems passing urine
These symptoms should not be ignored. They should be investigated urgently because the situation can deteriorate quickly, leading to serious and permanent problems. In these instances, emergency spinal surgery to relieve compression of the nerve root may be needed. If these symptoms are not followed up quickly enough, permanent and preventable injuries could occur.
What is the process for claiming cauda equina compensation?
If you are worried that you are worse off because of a failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome at an earlier stage, you can get in touch with our specialist medical neligence solicitors.
We can usually investigate your case under a no win, no fee agreement. We will get copies of your medical records and prepare a statement from you about what happened. Our solicitors will instruct an independent medical expert to get answers for you about whether you should have been diagnosed earlier and, if so, what difference the delayed treatment made to your cauda equina injuries and long-term prognosis.
How much compensation can you claim for cauda equina syndrome?
It is possible to claim for pain, suffering and loss of quality of life for a cauda equina injury. It’s also possible for you to be compensated for lost or reduced earnings as well as the additional treatment or care which you have needed.
In addition, experts will consider whether you need physiotherapy, occupational therapy or aids and equipment to improve your quality of life. In successful cauda equina claims, there will be an assessment of your home to see whether it can be suitably adapted for you or alternatively, whether a move to more appropriate accommodation would be applicable.
What is the time limit to claim compensation for cauda equina syndrome?
Every cauda equina claim is different and your specialist lawyer will advise you about your particular case. However, in most cases, you have three years from the date your cauda equina syndrome should have been diagnosed or the date your cauda equina injury was actually diagnosed to issue a claim with the court.
It takes time to receive the documents and independent expert evidence needed to bring a cauda equina misdiagnosis claim. We therefore always recommend that you speak to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible.
How much does it cost to make a cauda equina claim?
In most cases, our specialist cauda equina injury solicitors will represent you on a no win, no fee agreement. They will usually want to meet with you when you decide to go ahead with investigating a claim. They can then explain more in person about how your legal claim will be funded and the steps involved with bringing a cauda equina injury claim. Your lawyer will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Cauda equina syndrome misdiagnosis compensation
If you’re unhappy with how medical professionals have handled your cauda equina syndrome diagnosis and treatment, our specialist medical negligence solicitors are here to help.
With decades of experience between us in cauda equina injury claims, our solicitors can help assess and investigate your situation and find out whether you might be owed answers and compensation.
Speak to our specialist cauda equina claims team
To speak to a member of our team about your cauda equina injury and what to do next, give us a call on 0117 325 2929. We handle all calls with compassion and in total confidence.
Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our Medical Negligence team will be in touch.