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Continuing to raise awareness of Cauda Equina Syndrome

The Cauda Equina Syndrome Festival 2021 has been taking place from 27 September 2021, and culminates with international Cauda Equina Syndrome Awareness day on 1 October 2021. Here at Clarke Willmott we understand the catastrophic consequences of failing to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome in a timely manner. It is therefore vital to raise awareness and improve knowledge and understanding about this potentially very serious condition. You can find out more about our work assisting those with Cauda Equina claims at our Cauda Equina page here.

What is Cauda Equina Syndrome and what are the symptoms?

Cauda Equina is a Latin term meaning ‘horses tail’ and refers to the bundle of nerves which are at the bottom of the spinal cord and look like a horses tail. If those nerves become compressed as a result of a slipped disc, tumour, trauma or cyst it will cause symptoms known as ‘red flags.’ Those red flag symptoms are a warning that without urgent treatment, serious permanent injury could result.

Red flag symptoms include:

  • Leg pain or weakness
  • Altered sensation such as pins and needles
  • A change to normal bladder function, including incontinence, inability to pass urine or altered sensation when passing urine
  • Bowel incontinence or reduced sensation when opening bowels
  • Altered sensation in the groin or saddle area including numbness or pins and needles
  • Altered sexual function

If you have any of the above symptoms you should seek urgent medical attention as soon as possible.

The best chance of making a full recovery will happen if patients receive surgery within 24 hours of the onset of those red flag symptoms. After that 24 hour window passes, the longer the symptoms are left the worse the likely outcome and more permanent damage is done. Prompt treatment is therefore key. For those who do not receive prompt treatment they will often be left with permanent damage and may be unable to work, have poor mobility, be incontinent or suffer from constant chronic pain, all of which can have a life changing impact on the individual in question.

Cauda Equina Syndrome is not a well-known condition. Unfortunately the symptoms are often not recognised promptly enough by medical professionals, and very often treatment does not happen quickly enough to prevent permanent damage from occurring. Cauda Equina Festival and Cauda Equina Syndrome Awareness Day 2021 is an opportunity to build on the good work done last year, the first event to recognise Cauda Equina Syndrome, and continue to raise awareness of the condition and try to prevent unnecessary injuries occurring in the future.

Awareness needs to be improved right across the medical profession as well as the public. A prompt diagnosis made by asking the right questions of a patient can be the difference between the patient returning to a normal life or suffering life changing injuries.

How can Clarke Willmott help?

If you have suffered from Cauda Equina Syndrome please get in touch with our specialist experienced team. We will be happy to discuss the matter with you further and if we are able to assist this will often be on a no win no fee basis. We will be able to investigate the matter for you and help you find out what happened, and obtain compensation to assist with any life changing injuries.

Read more about just one cauda equina case we have successfully settled for a client.


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