Medical Malpractice Suits Involving Cauda Equina

Medical Malpractice Suits Involving Cauda Equina


Have you been experiencing lower back pain or sciatica? Have you had numbness or weakness in one or both legs that has made it difficult for you to get up from a chair, or caused you to stumble? Have you lost sensation around your genitals or buttocks? Have you had bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction? You may have cauda equine syndrome, a neurological disorder caused by an injury to the nerve roots that exit the spinal cord.

The symptoms of cauda equine can generally be reversed, if treated before they become too pronounced. Unfortunately, even though testing is pretty simple, the signs are often missed by doctors until it’s too late. In some instances, a doctor may be able to diagnose cauda equine through a physical exam, but an MRI, a myelogram or CT scan will all help with the diagnosis.

According to experts, there’s about a 48 hour window during which the effects of cauda equine can be reversed. The typical treatment calls for immediate surgical decompression, where doctors operate to alleviate pressure. In some instances, where there’s swelling around the base of the spine, you may need corticosteroids or antibiotics as well.

The types of injuries tied to cauda equine (Latin for "horse’s tail") are often very serious, including paralysis, drop feet, incontinence and considerable neurological pain. Cauda equine can be caused by any number of factors, including:

  • Blunt trauma to the lower back, or lumbar spine injury in a car accident
  • A ruptured disck
  • Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • A tumor or lesion on the spine
  • An infection or inflammation in the lower spine

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