• Bell Lax pioneered no win no fee arrangements for commercial disputes. If you lose, we lose, therefore we always fight for you.

  • Bell Lax pioneered no win no fee arrangements for commercial disputes. If you lose, we lose, therefore we always fight for you.

Cauda Equina

Cauda Equina

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome occurs when a group of nerves (known as the ‘Cauda Equina’ – Latin for ‘horse’s tail’) at the base of the spinal cord become compressed. This usually occurs due to compression through an injury or trauma, pressure from a prolapsed disc, or a blood clot in the lumbar spine.

The symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome also known as ‘red flags’ include:

  • Acute lower back pain
  • Severe back pain
  • Incontinence
  • Saddle anaesthesia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pins and needles in one or both legs

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a medical emergency needing urgent surgery to decompress the nerves within 24-48 hours from the onset of symptoms. Permanent and life changing injuries can be sustained if urgent treatment is not received. However, symptoms of Cauda equina syndrome are sometimes thought to be general symptoms and can therefore be easily misdiagnosed. Common long-term effects of Cauda Equina Syndrome include:

  • Loss of function / paralysis below the waist
  • saddle anaesthesia
  • pain
  • incontinence
  • mobility problems

A GP should be fully alert to red flag symptoms and be concerned if a patient is complaining of loss of sensation in the saddle area, bowel/or bladder problems or shooting pains, pins and needles or numbness in the lower limbs.

If a patient is quickly diagnosed and promptly undergoes surgery, a full recovery can be achieved. Therefore, an early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to minimise long term damage.

We have acted for a client who was admitted to Good Hope hospital with back pain and altered sensation in her saddle and legs.  Dispute this pain, she was not immediately referred for an MRI scan.  It took 2 days before the hospital arranged the scan which revealed she had cauda equina syndrome.  Due to the delay in diagnosis our client continues to experience back pain and difficulty with urinating and suffers bowel problems.  We successfully recovered £130,000 for our client.

If you have been diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome and are concerned about the treatment that you have received, contact our medical negligence department for free no obligation and confidential advice on 0121 3550011.  We offer no win no fee agreements on these cases.