Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a condition if left undetected can have devastating effects on a person’s long-term health. The Cauda Equina is a set of nerves at the base of the spine which control the bladder, bowel, and leg functions and CES occurs when these nerves are compressed causing neurological damage.
In the vast majority of cases relating to CES the patient will have had back problems, potentially for some time, however there are a number of warning signs or “red flag” symptoms which should indicate to any treating clinician that the patient may have progressed to having CES. These symptoms include bilateral leg pain, perineal and sphincter numbness, and saddle anaesthesia.
It is widely accepted within the medical community that in the majority of cases, urgent surgery is required to limit the damage of CES. If there is a delay in diagnosis of CES, and therefore a delay in urgent decompression surgery, the patient can be left with permanent neurological damage as a result of the delay in the form of permanent bladder and bowel problems, permanent pain, and sexual dysfunction issues.
We have acted for, and currently act for, a number of clients who have suffered a delay in diagnosis of CES and consequently significant neurological injuries.