Cauda equina syndrome is a serious injury that develops fast and therefore has the potential to be missed by medical professionals.
If this has happened to you and you have been left with life changing injuries and complications as a result then you may be entitled to seek compensation.
What is cauda equina syndrome?
Cauda equina syndrome is a rare class of spinal stenosis. Around 400-600 people are diagnosed with cauda equina every year in the UK.
Spinal stenosis is when the space within your spine narrows and either compresses or puts pressure on nerves in the spine.
Specifically, cauda equina occurs in the lower back near the end of the spinal cord where the collection of nerves resembles a horse’s tail.
When these nerves become compressed, you can begin to experience pain in your back or lose sensation in and around your legs, buttocks and genitals.
There can be other symptoms too including:
- Sciatica in one or both legs
- Urinary incontinence
- Bowel incontinence
What causes cauda equina syndrome?
The most common cause of cauda equina syndrome is a herniated disk which then puts pressure on the cauda equina. The people most likely to develop cauda equina are those who are at a higher risk of herniating a disk such as:
- Older people
- Overweight people
- People who smoke
- Contact sport athletes
- People who work physical jobs – especially if they are frequently lifting or moving objects using improper techniques
Cauda equina can also occur as a result of other conditions. This includes spinal injuries, infections, and tumours.
Medical negligence for cauda equina syndrome
Luckily, cauda equina can be treated with emergency decompression surgery if identified quickly. Unfortunately, surgery needs to be performed quickly as it is most effective when performed in the first 48 hours.
If the condition is left untreated for any longer than this then you run the risk of cauda equina leading to permanent and irreversible incontinence and even paralysis.
Therefore, if you visited a doctor to discuss your symptoms and your doctor either ignored your claims or misdiagnosed your cauda equina then you may be able to claim compensation for medical negligence.
As with most medical negligence claims, you have three years from either the date that your injury occurred or the date that you discovered your injury was a result of medical negligence – whichever is most recent.
If a child has experienced medical negligence, then their three-year limit starts from the date that they turn 18.
Cauda equina syndrome malpractice compensation amounts
Compensation for cauda equina medical negligence claims vary on a case-by-case basis as no two experiences are the same.
As a general rule of thumb, medical negligence claims for cauda equina can be anywhere from £2,000 – £100,000+ depending on your own individual circumstances.
Whether you are calculating medical negligence for cauda equina, or brain injury claims, the general approach remains the same. Your compensation will be made up of general damages and special damages.
General damages refer to the compensation that is awarded for the physical and emotional damages experienced by the accident or injury that is the basis for the claim and includes compensation for physical and mental pain and suffering, leading a lower quality of life and long-term or permanent impairment.
Special damages refer to the compensation that is awarded to cover any expenses that have been incurred as a result of the accident or injury that is the basis for the claim and include any medical expenses, renovation/replacement costs and loss of income.
Cauda equina syndrome lawyers
If you have experienced medical negligence and have been left with exacerbated symptoms or damages as a result of cauda equina or suffered from this condition following a general injury to your back then get in touch with our serious injury team at Brown Turner Ross and we can talk through your situation with you, help you move forward, and, if applicable, make a claim.
At Brown Turner Ross our serious injury lawyers are experts at dealing with serious injuries whether you have lost part of a limb or been left with any other long term damage and can help you get the result you deserve in the courts.