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Answers To Your Cauda Equina Syndrome Questions

At Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. Trial Lawyers in Chicago, our personal injury medical malpractice lawyers have a track record of handling cauda equina syndrome cases. Here are frequently asked questions we receive regarding cauda equina syndrome and potential medical negligence.

What is cauda equina?

Cauda equina is the group of nerve roots that are located at the base of the tailbone. Cauda equina means “horse’s tail.” The cauda equina nerves send signals to the brain regarding the lower extremities and the bladder.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when a cauda equina nerve root or roots are damaged or disrupted.

What causes cauda equina syndrome?

Damage to the lower spine or spinal cord injury is a common cause of cauda equina syndrome. Herniated discs are one example. A wide range of catastrophic injury events can damage the lower spine and spinal cord and cause pain, including:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Tumors on the spinal cord
  • Inflammation in the spinal cord
  • Infection in the spinal cord
  • Clinical negligence during spinal surgery
  • Failure to properly diagnose or treat a spinal cord injury
  • Spinal epidural hematoma (bleeding)
  • Herniated discs in lumbar spine

A spinal anesthesia error by a medical professional also can cause cauda equina syndrome.

What are cauda equina syndrome symptoms?

The most common symptom of cauda equina syndrome is the retention of urine. When a cauda equina nerve is damaged, it can result in the brain not receiving the signal that the bladder is full. Other cauda equina syndrome symptoms include:

  • Weakness in the lower body
  • Pain in the back or legs
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Saddle anesthesia
  • Urinary retention or incontinence
  • Loss of rectal tone

How is cauda equina syndrome diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome can include medical exam, review of patient history and an MRI.

New onset of cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency that requires emergency surgery. Failure to timely diagnose and treat cauda equina syndrome can cause serious and permanent neurological injury.

What are the possible long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome?

If timely treatment is not received, a patient can suffer permanent damage in the form of neurological injury. Cauda equina syndrome could result in the patient needing to a catheter to empty the bladder. Lengthy rehabilitation to bring the bladder back to health might also be necessary. Emotional/psychological effects from cauda equina syndrome can be extremely challenging.

Can a personal injury lawsuit be brought for cauda equina syndrome?

If the negligence of another party or parties (a medical professional, for example) caused cauda equina syndrome or made it worse, then proceeding with a medical malpractice legal claim with a cauda equina syndrome lawyer is a possibility. If the victim has a legitimate negligence claim, then recovering injury compensation is a potential result.

How To Contact A Cauda Equina Syndrome Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered from cauda equina syndrome or is experiencing symptoms, you may have a medical malpractice case. Contact a cauda equina syndrome lawyer at Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. Trial Lawyers in Chicago for answers to your questions. Call our personal injury medical malpractice attorneys at 312-638-2407 or send us an email through our website. Our lawyers have more than 75 years of combined experience with personal injury law. We serve clients nationwide.