The term cauda equina literally means ‘horse’s tail’ in Latin as these nerves resemble that. They are a spray of nerves at the lower end of the spinal cord which have important functions such as bladder and bowel control, sexual organs and legs. These nerves which send and receive messages from the feet, legs and pelvic organs can become damaged or compressed cutting off sensation. There are many causes such as herniated or ruptured disk in the lower back, a tumour, infection, fracture from a fall, gunshot or motor collision, or narrowing of the spinal canal (stenosis). The implications therefore can be very serious.
Symptoms in some cases may come on more gradually and may resemble other conditions. Typical symptoms include quite severe lower back pain, the sensation of numbness or weakness in one or both legs which can lead the person to stumbling or perhaps falling. This can extend to altered sensation in the lower limbs which can develop into quite severe symptoms. In addition difficulties with bladder or bowel function such as having incontinence can be an indication of cauda equina syndrome as is sexual dysfunction.
Cauda equina syndrome is considered a surgical emergency and if not identified and appropriately treated in time can lead to life changing outcomes such as incontinence and permanent paralysis of the legs.
Cauda equina syndrome misdiagnosis
If your doctor has failed to correctly diagnose cauda equina syndrome, then you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence. It is important you seek advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. We believe in putting you our client first and we are committed to achieving the best result possible while all the time remaining sensitive to your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us below and will be pleased to discuss your case and offer no obligation advice.
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