Covid-19 Update: The latest effects of coronavirus on your legal rights and our service.

Complete the form below to ask us a question or make an enquiry. We’ll get back to you via phone or email as soon as possible.

Medical Negligence

Cauda Equina Syndrome

We are a specialist team of Cauda Equina Syndrome Solicitors who have been conducting high value complex Clinical Negligence and PI claims, including spinal injuries for 25 years.

We specialise in claims relating to cauda equina syndrome in addition to birth and brain injury and infection, but have a broad range of experience of claim types upon which we can draw.  We are nationally recognised for the high level of damages settlements we achieve.

Get Legal Support for Cauda Equina

Clin Neg colour SRA accreditation website PNG

 

We know that cauda equina syndrome is a devastating condition, and spinal cord injuries can be both traumatic and life changing.

If you think that you or a loved one may be suffering from cauda equina syndrome as a result of medical negligence or delayed surgery, then our specialist spinal injury solicitors can help.

Tozers’s experienced medical negligence experts are ready to help you make a compensation claim. Contact us today online or call us at 01392 207 020.

Table of contents

 

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis, narrowing, where all the nerves in the lower back suddenly become severely compressed.

This collection of spinal nerves and nerve roots, called the cauda equina, is located below the tapered end of the spinal cord, or conus medullaris. It consists of the second through to the fifth lumbar nerve pairs, all sacral nerve pairs, and the coccygeal nerve. They control bladder and bowel, sexual function, sensation in the groin area and motor function throughout the legs.

 

What causes cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome occurs when the cauda equina nerves are damaged leading to compression of the nerve roots below the level of the spinal cord. Damage can be caused by a slipped disc, surgery to the lower back, spinal tumours, inflammatory conditions such as Paget’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis, and infectious conditions such as spinal or epidural abscesses.

A prolapsed or slipped disc is the most common cause of Cauda Equina Syndrome. When this happens the inner part of a vertebral disc pokes through a weakness in the outer layer, pressing on the surrounding structures.

When a spinal injury occurs as a result of a medical professionals’ mistakes, you may be entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence.

 

What are the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome?

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can include,

  • Severe pain
  • Loss of feeling in the lower body
  • Leg weakness
  • Mobility problems
  • Numbness in the groin
  • Bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction

Cauda equina syndrome compensation claims can arise when doctors fail to advise patients to seek medical attention urgently if they develop ‘red flag’ symptoms. Failure to provide appropriate advice can result in a delay in patients attending hospital when these symptoms develop.

If there are delays in surgical intervention, and the nerves are not decompressed in time, these symptoms can become long-term, or even permanent.

If you had any symptoms like these that were not recognised as ‘red flag’ symptoms for cauda equina syndrome, then you may be able to make a claim.

 

How is Cauda Equina Syndrome Diagnosed?

Cauda equina syndrome is usually diagnosed by imaging, typically an MRI scan, along with examining the patient and their medical history.

The physical examination will include testing the muscle strength of the lower limbs, evaluating sensation to touch and pain, checking lower limb reflexes and evaluation of anal tone, reflex, and sensation. X-rays will look for severe arthritis and trauma, and an MRI with and without contrast will provide a detailed look at tumours, infection, intervertebral disks, and nerve roots.

 

Can cauda equina syndrome be misdiagnosed?

Cauda Equina Syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed. However, this can have terrible consequences, as cauda equina is a condition that must be treated immediately if a patient is to regain normal function.

If there are delays in surgical intervention, and the nerves are not decompressed in time, symptoms can become long-term, or even permanent.

 

How is cauda equina syndrome treated?

Cauda Equina Syndrome is considered a medical emergency and prompt surgical decompression of the roots is often required to prevent permanent neurological damage. Typically, a micro discectomy is performed, where the surgeon removes the part of the disc compressing the nerves. Patients are usually kept in the hospital for a few days following the surgery to monitor recovery of motor and sensory functions.

 

Is cauda equina syndrome permanent?

If patients with cauda equina syndrome do not seek immediate treatment to relieve the pressure, it can result in permanent any of the ‘red flag’ symptoms becoming permanent. Even with immediate treatment, some patients may not recover complete function.

 

Can you make a claim for medical negligence?

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare condition, and it can be caused without medical negligence, such as by a tumour or trauma. However, it can also be due to negligent or delayed surgery.

Often clinical negligence claims are brought due to the delay in diagnosis, either through an MRI scan or delay in treatment to surgically release the compressed nerves. All too often the “red flag” early warning signs are missed, and temporary symptoms can become permanent.

If you had any ‘red flag’ symptoms and were not referred by a medical professional swiftly, then you may be able to make a claim.

 

What can you file a claim for?

You can file a cauda equina claim for any of the ‘red flag’ symptoms, including,

  • Severe back pain
  • Incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pain in one or both legs

Our experienced cauda equina syndrome solicitors have dealt with cases where patients have suffered medical negligence, and filed a claim when,

  • A medical professional did not recognise the symptoms
  • The patient showing symptoms was not sent for the correct tests
  • The patient was not referred to a surgeon in time

If you are unsure whether you have a medical negligence claim, our expert solicitors will be  happy to discuss your case with you.

 

When can you file a claim?

Whilst damage to the spinal cord during medical treatment is sometimes unavoidable, in most cases it can be avoided with early diagnosis and early surgical intervention.

Whilst spinal cord injuries can occur very quickly medical professionals are trained to identify symptoms. You will have a claim if you are able to establish that the injury would have been avoided if the correct medical treatment had been given, or if there was a delay in diagnosis or surgery.

Generally, medical negligence claims should be made within three years from the date you or a loved one suffered medical negligence. However, there may be exceptions, such as in the case of children, the three year limit doesn't start until after their 18th birthday.

 

How likely is a claim to be successful?

To succeed with a clinical negligence claim we need to establish both breach of duty and causation. We need to show that the care you received was substandard and that it caused you an injury. In the majority of cases, expert evidence will need to be obtained to support any allegations made.

If you are unsure whether you have a medical negligence claim, our expert solicitors will be  happy to discuss your case with you.

 

How expensive is it to file a claim for cauda equina syndrome?

We provide an assessment of your situation free of charge, and in instances where we can help you make a claim, we will discuss the costs and funding of those with you, upfront.

In appropriate cases we can offer Legal Aid, but in most cases, we act on a no win no fee basis. This means you won't pay anything if your claim is lost. If you win your case, the defendant will pay most of your legal fees with the rest coming out of your damages.

 

Successful Cauda Equina claims

Testament to our national reputation of winning cases and securing maximum compensation for our clinical negligence clients, below are some examples of expert medical negligence solicitors recent case wins.

wheelchair hug

 

£1million for lady who suffered spinal injury

Simon Mansfield achieved an award of more than £1,000,000 for a lady in her 70s who suffered a penetrating injury to her spinal cord during the siting of an epidural anaesthesia.

As a result of the injury the Client was left with virtually complete paralysis of the left leg, associated with bi-lateral lower limb sensory impairment, neuropathic pain and disturbance of bladder and bowel function.

After securing an admission of liability from the Defendant, Simon was able to obtain interim payments that enabled the client to adapt her property so that it was suitable for her disability and implement a care package that meant that she had the support she needed to live as full a life as possible.

The Client now lives in a fully adapted property close to her family with guaranteed payments for life to cover her care and treatment needs.

Simon Mansfield Light

Partner and Solicitor

Simon Mansfield

01392 209 592  |  s.mansfield@tozers.co.uk

 

£1.2million for lady who suffered Cauda Equina Syndrome injury

Simon Mansfield and Clair Hemming working together achieved an award of more than £1,200,000 for a lady who suffered from a severe cauda equina injury as a result of a negligent failure to assess her when she attended a North Devon Hospital complaining of severe back pain.

As a result of the injury the client suffered from a complete loss of bladder and bowel control, neuropathic pain and extremely limited mobility. She had bilateral foot drop and was largely wheelchair bound, but able to transfer with assistance. As a result of her injuries, she required assistance with personal care, mobilising and virtually all aspects of day to day life 24 hours a day.

Following an admission of liability, interim payments were secured which enabled the client to adapt her property and move back into her home with the support that she received.

Clair Hemming Dark

Partner and Solicitor

Clair Hemming

01392 667 692  |  c.hemming@tozers.co.uk

 

Support for cauda equina syndrome

If you or a loved one has been affected by a spinal injury or cauda equina syndrome, then getting support and advice may be just as important as looking to make a claim. Our team of expert medical negligence lawyers have helped many clients with their cauda equina claims, and are here to make sure that you get the best legal advice possible. There are also many charities who specialise in spinal injuries and can provide personal support for you and your family.

 

Cauda Equina Awareness Day

Once a year the CECC holds the Cauda Equina Awareness Day. An awareness event aiming to educate members of the public on the ‘red flag’ symptoms to look out for known which can lead to cauda equina syndrome.

We provide support throughout the awareness day, providing information on symptoms, guidance, case studies and first-hand client stories to help support those affected and their loved ones, as well as how to bring a successful medical negligence claim.

Find out more about Cauda Equina Awareness Day, and see our latest video advice and insights.

 

How can Tozers help?

As members of the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association legal panel, and with our expert solicitors many years of experience securing successful claims for spinal injuries, we have an in-depth understand of the current legal, medical and practical issues. We also have access to the leading experts and Barristers to make sure that we achieve the best possible outcome for you.

As members of the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association legal panel, and with our expert solicitors many years of experience securing successful claims for spinal injuries, we have an in-depth understand of the current legal, medical and practical issues. We also have access to the leading experts and Barristers to make sure that we achieve the best possible outcome for you.As members of the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association legal panel, and with our expert solicitors many years of experience securing successful claims for spinal injuries, we have an in-depth understand of the current legal, medical and practical issues. We also have access to the leading experts and Barristers to make sure that we achieve the best possible outcome for you.

 

How can Tozers help with a cauda equina syndrome claim?

We understand that day-to-day life with a spinal injury and cauda equina syndrome can be very hard. You may need care and assistance with ‘normal’ activities, be forced to give up your employment and be unable to lead a full and active life.

Our team of expert medical negligence lawyers have helped many clients with their cauda equina claims, and are here to make sure that you get the best legal advice possible. Securing the maximum compensation for your claim for injury and loss, whilst taking the utmost sensitivity and care in handling your case.

We’ll help you and your loved ones to navigate the future, guaranteeing that you have the funds you need to cover all your future medical, equipment and care needs

If you have a spinal injury, cauda equina syndrome, or are unsure if you have a medical negligence claim and just need practical help and support, please contact our expert negligence lawyers today who can help you.

 

Find out more

Tozers’s experienced medical negligence experts are ready to help you make a compensation claim. Contact us today online or call us at 01392 207 020.

 

Get legal advice and support

Contact Our Legal Experts

Enquire now
Cauda Equina Syndrome

Related Services

Medical Negligence Services

What our clients say

It was the human touch

"They were doing all the right things to give the case the rightful outcome. I couldn't ask for more. It was the human touch as well as the professionalism."


Sandra