What is Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)?
Cauda Equina concerns the mass of nerves and nerve roots that branch off at the end of the spinal cord. CES refers to the potentially devestating syndrome caused through significant inflammation or compression of these nerves. If there is a delay in diagnosis or treatment, potentially permanent damage may occur. Although this is a rare condition, it is frequently the subject of clinical negligence litigation.
Common symptoms of CES
- Bowel disturbance
- Changes in bladder activity and incontinence
- Lower back pain
- Loss of sensation and motor function in the legs
- Reduced or absent leg reflexes
- Sharp stabbing pains in the leg
Causes of CES
CES has a number of possible causes, one of these being clinical negligence. CES can also be caused by traumatic injury, infection, tumors next to the spinal cord, fractures, inflammatory conditions or infection.
Three Musts of CES
If a GP is presented with a patient displaying such symptoms then the following steps should be followed:
- A referral must be made with a member of the hospital’s orthopedic team
- An MRI scan must be arranged
- Surgery must follow to decompress the nerve root.
If a medical practitioner fails to recognize the symptoms of CES and respond appropriately, you may be entitled to compensation.
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