Advice For You

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome is caused by extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves when they become compressed and it should always be treated as a medical emergency.

Lower back pain is exceedingly common and, in the vast majority of cases, it clears up on its own without treatment, but occasionally it can be more serious. At the upper lumbar region of the spinal canal, the nerves of the pelvis and legs branch out from the end of the spinal cord in a 'horse's tail' effect.


Many conditions can lead to Cauda Equina Syndrome including:
Prolapsed disc
Injury (not necessarily a major injury)
Untreated fracture in the spine
Herniated disc
A severe bony disease of the spine
Spinal anaesthesia
Congenital abnormality of the spine
Damage during surgery

The potential long-term effects of Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) include permanent paralysis and incontinence if treatment is delayed, so doctors need to be able to recognise the warning signs associated with CES quickly.

Warning signs of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Severe back pain
Sexual dysfunction
Loss of sensation around the inner thighs and buttocks
Pain / weakness in one or both legs
Bladder / bowel incontinence

If the symptoms are ignored or misdiagnosed the neurological effects can be devastating – it is important patients are referred for neurosurgical/spinal reviews and urgent decompression surgery to relieve the pressure on the spine and avoid life-changing consequences.

CES Specialist and Medical Negligence Solicitor, Jacqueline White talks about the devastating effects of CES:

Compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)

Clients come to us with persistent back problems, neurological symptoms and with concerns that something has gone wrong in their treatment. Often they do not realise that they are suffering from Cauda Equina Syndrome.

Many of these patients have been misdiagnosed or have had a delay in a CES diagnosis. Smaller hospitals may not be equipped to deal with serious spinal injuries. Delayed treatment following a delayed scan could mean the condition deteriorates and it may then be too late to prevent permanent nerve damage.

The life-changing impact of Cauda Equina Syndrome, when not adequately treated, can lead to serious financial implications. The lifelong paralysis bought about by negligently treated CES could ultimately mean that you require full time and lifelong care. It may also mean that the home in which you live is no longer suitable for your needs.

In these circumstances, the law seeks to award compensation to help you deal with any continuing problems and to maximise your potential and quality of life.

How do I make a claim?

All of these cases have to be looked at on their individual facts. However, if you feel there has been a delay in diagnosing and/or treating your CES, call us free on 0161 785 3500 today and have a chat with one of our team and so that we can advise you on how to get the settlement you need to support your future.