The onset of Cauda Equina Syndrome may be sudden, within hours or sometimes gradual over weeks or months. No matter how a patient may develop Cauda Equina Syndrome, it is imperative that it is diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Therefore, it is extremely important that patients are referred urgently to appropriate medical professionals who can confirm a diagnosis of CES and provide urgent treatment – usually surgery.
Some medical professionals distinguish different stages of CES as follows:
This means CES suspected or suspicious. A patient may show symptoms such as bilateral radiculopathy which may feel like the nerves have been pinched and can result in pain, weakness, numbness, or difficulty controlling specific muscles, particularly the legs.
This means CES incomplete. If the CES is incomplete, a patient will generally have urinary difficulties of neurogenic origin including altered urinary sensation, difficulty urinating which could be a poor flow or perhaps feeling like you want to urinate but cannot and loss of feeling that you need to urinate. There may also be loss of sensation in and around the saddle and genital area.
This means CES retention and generally means that the CES is complete. Usually, a patient will have issues including urinary retention without being aware of such a problem as there can often be no pain associated with the retention and complete loss of control of the bladder. A loss of sensation around the saddle and genital area is usually full or extensive at the very least.
It is vital that patients are urgently referred to a suitable medical professional at the CES-S and at the latest, the CES-I stage. The later a patient waits for a referral and subsequent treatment, the worse a patients outcome and recovery is likely to be.
Patients at the CES-S and CES-I stage should be referred urgently for a MRI scan of the spine as this will help to identify whether a patient has CES and the likely cause.
It is vital that the referral is urgent as patients can deteriorate to CES-R rapidly.
Can I make a medical negligence claim if I have not been urgently referred?
If you have attended upon a treating clinician displaying symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome and were not urgently referred to an appropriate clinician or hospital for investigations and treatment, you may be able to
make a medical negligence claim for financial compensation.
Our specialist team can offer advice on a no-obligation basis. After having an initial consultation with you, our team will assess whether you may have a potential medical negligence claim.
If you then decide that you would like to proceed with a claim we have a range of funding options available including a No-Win, No-Fee Agreement supported, if appropriate, by legal expenses insurance.
Do not delay – contact us now to see if you have a potential medical negligence claim.
Lauren Hebdon is a specialist medical negligence solicitor at Bridge McFarland LLP, dealing with cases relating to the delayed diagnosis or treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome on a daily basis.