Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome Solicitors

The window of opportunity to diagnose and treat cauda equina syndrome is narrow, some medical experts claim no more than 36 hours. Failure may cause irreversible damage. Our experienced legal team provides practical legal advice and has successfully helped clients with damages for medical negligence following injury caused by negligent cauda equina syndrome.

Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) occurs when nerves in the lower spine become compressed. There are a number of possible causes including slipped discs, traumatic injuries, tumours and changes due to the ageing process.

Someone suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome, may have some or all of the following symptoms often described as ‘Red Flag Symptoms’

  • Low back pain
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Lack of sensation around the saddle area
  • Poor control of legs and or feet
  • Sexual dysfunction

If diagnosis is confirmed, usually by an MRI scan, surgery to relieve the nerve compression should be performed on a emergency basis.

If surgery is not carried out urgently, symptoms may become permanent. It is thought that the window of opportunity to repair damage is no more than 36 hours.

When a patient presents cauda equina syndrome red flag symptoms it should set alarm bells ringing, however our experience shows that many medical professionals fail to diagnose the condition until symptoms become irreversible.

Our medical negligence solicitors have acted for clients across England and Wales who have suffered serious permanent injury because the condition was diagnosed too late.

If you have suffered Cauda Equina Syndrome you may be an unwitting victim of medical negligence and could be permanently injured, as a result. Our solicitors can support you and help to get your life back on track.

The information below may be useful to aid and support those affected by cauda equina syndrome:

  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Bladder and Bowel Foundation
  • Sexual Advice Association
  • Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Disability Rights
  • Patient
  • Leeds Neurosurgery
  • British Medical Journal
  • Case report

    Delayed diagnosis resulting in permanent disability following the development of cauda equina syndrome.

    Mr H was unable to return to work as a bus driver. As a result of the delay in diagnosis and surgery he suffers from permanent back pain and problems with urinary and bowel continence.

    A partner in the clinical negligence department, negotiated a settlement of £250,000.00 on behalf of Mr H, who was 51 when he presented at hospital with symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. The correct diagnosis was not made until two weeks later.

    Case report: delayed diagnosis resulting in permanent numbness following the onset of cauda equina syndrome

    Our client attended A & E following a significant worsening of her pre-existing back pain. She was also complaining of bowel and bladder dysfunction. An MRI was performed and she was incorrectly advised that this was normal and she was referred for physiotherapy.

    Her symptoms persisted and her GP referred her to a neurosurgeon at a different hospital where she was seen 3 months after her initial attendance at hospital. The neurosurgeon reviewed the earlier MRI and correctly diagnosed cauda equina syndrome.

    Despite immediate surgery she was left with permanent nerve damage. We obtained evidence which confirmed that the nerve damage would have been avoided with earlier treatment. Liability was admitted after we served a Letter of Claim.

    A Partner, negotiated a £75,000 settlement on behalf of a woman who suffered permanent perineal numbness as a result of a delay in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome.

    For confidential advice on how we can help you make a medical negligence claim for this condition contact us on 0113 2845000 or

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