Failing To Diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) Can Result in Catastrophic Injuries
At the end of the spinal cord is a collection of nerves known as the cauda equina. This collection of nerves resembles a horse’s tail, in Latin, the “cauda equina.” The nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord provide motor and sensory function to the legs and the bladder. Cauda equina syndrome occurs when there is dysfunction of multiple lumbar and sacral nerve roots of the cauda equina.
Cauda equina syndrome occurs as a result of compression on these spinal nerve roots. Left undiagnosed and untreated this compression may result in permanent leg paralysis, irreversible incontinence and bowel functions, sexual dysfunction and other life-altering problems.
Causes of CES include:
- Severe ruptured disc
- Spinal tumor
- Spinal cord infection
- A birth defect such as an abnormal connection between blood vessels
- Fractures, hemorrhaging or inflammation as a result of car crashes, falls, and undiagnosed and untreated progressive spinal cord compression
Symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Patients with Cauda Equina Syndrome may experience some or all of these symptoms:
- Urinary retention, where the bladder fills with urine, but the patient does not experience the normal sensation or urge to urinate.
- Urinary and/or fecal incontinence.
- “Saddle anesthesia,” a sensory disturbance involving the area where one would sit on a saddle, the anus, genitals and buttock region.
- Weakness or paralysis affecting the legs.
- Pain in the back and/or legs (also known as sciatica).
- Sexual dysfunction.
Malpractice Suits for Failing to Diagnose and Treat Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome requires requires urgent surgery t relieve the pressure oj the nerves. The team at The Law Offices of Patrick J. Filan P.C. has successfully handled malpractice cases in Connecticut and New York involving the failure to make a timely diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome. Malpractice cases are based on the failure to make a timely diagnosis and delays in implementing proper treatment. Responsible parties for diagnosing cauda equina syndrome may include:
- Emergency department physician and health care providers
- Attending physicians who fail to order proper tests such as CT scans and MRIs
- Radiologists who misread imaging studies such as CT scans or MRI’s
- Nurses who ignore patient complaints of severe lower back pain and numbness in legs
Attorney Filan will assist you with gathering your medical records to determine whether your health care provider put a proper diagnosis and treatment plan in place. Your medical history, a physical exam, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, computed tomography (CT) scan and high-tech x-rays of your spine will all become important elements to the success of your case.
Talk To an Experienced Cauda Equina Syndrome Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered the consequences of a failure to make a timely diagnosis of cauda equina or a delay in implementing proper treatment, let attorney Patrick J. Filan put his medical malpractice experience to work for you. Contact The Law Offices of Patrick J. Filan P.C. online or by calling 203-349-8074 for a free consultation.