Cauda Equina Syndrome Solicitors - UK CES Compensation Claims


Cauda equina syndrome (CES) claims result when the treatment for compression of the nerves in the lower spine is delayed or inadequate. The causes of this condition include ruptured disks, infections, fractures, tumours and narrowing of the spinal canal which effectively put pressure onto the bundle of nerves at the base of the spine that radiate out to control the lower body. CES may be diagnosed by physical examination confirmed by MRI, CAT scan or a myelogram. In order to prevent permanent and untreatable nerve damage this condition is treated as a medical emergency and immediate surgery to effect nerve de-compression may resolve the problem failing which patients can be left with loss of feeling, incontinence and paralysis. If you believe that you are suffering as a result of medical negligence call our cauda equine syndrome solicitors today for legal advice without charge.

Causes of Cauda Equina Syndrome

The most common cause of cauda equine syndrome is accidents, particularly road traffic accidents or falls from height and whilst there may be early diagnosis of the condition indicating the necessity for surgical procedures there are frequently operative difficulties and medical negligence in the operating theatre may leave the victim with paralysis which is grounds for a Leeds solicitor to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

Injury Symptoms

The most common symptoms of cauda equine syndrome include :-

  • low back pain
  • loss of feeling in the �saddle� area
  • urinary incontinence
  • bowel disturbances including incontinence and constipation
  • loss of anal muscle tone and sensation
  • lower limb weakness and loss of sensation

Spinal Injuries Association

If you or a loved one have suffered from a spinal injury, regardless of whether it was the result of medical negligence or not, the Spinal Injuries Association is available to assist the victims of spinal injuries. They are a national charity who can offer support to anyone affected in this way, with or without paralysis. Their motto is �Life needn�t stop when you�re paralysed.� They help patients to lead independent lives.

    The Spinal Injuries Association
    76 St.James's Lane
    Muswell Hill
    N10 3DF
    Tel: 020 8444 2121
    Fax: 020 8444 3761

Medical Negligence Law

Making a claim for compensation for personal injury is no easy task for the lay-person. Most High Street lawyers are not specialist clinical negligence solicitors and will shy away from most medical negligence cases due to the expertise necessary to succeed. Legal aid is available for Leeds medical negligence cases however it is means tested and only those on a low income will qualify. A minor (a person less than 18 years old) will almost always qualify for legal aid as it is the minor's income that counts and not the parent’s income. Notwithstanding availability most working people will not qualify for public funding and for this reason our medical negligence solicitors have developed a system that enables you to make a claim using the no win no fee* scheme. If you do not win your case, you do not pay our clinical negligence solicitors a penny for their legal fees.We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.


    The question of whether or not a healthcare professional has acted improperly is one that taxes clinical negligence solicitors and the law courts every day. There are over 20,000 outstanding claims against the NHS at any one time valued in excess of £6,000,000,000 and the insurers defend almost every case. A doctor is negligent if he has failed to attain the levels of skill and care displayed by other similar medical professionals. A doctor is not negligent if there are several treatment methods and his choice of treatment fails, provided that a body of other professionals supports his view and that the method stands up to logical analysis.

    Time Limits

    The limitation Act 1980 requires that cases are settled or proceedings are issued in a court of law within three years of the incident giving rise to the claim being discovered, failing which the opportunity to claim compensation may be lost forever. There are some exceptions to the general rule, including minors and the mentally infirm, however you should not delay in taking legal advice from specialist clinical negligence solicitors. Memories fade and books and records are lost or destroyed and the sooner you take action the less likely your case is to fail due to lack of evidence.

Cauda Equina Syndrome Solicitors Legal Advice

If you have suffered personal injury and you fear you may have been the victim of incompetence or negligence then there is no time for delay. In order to know what options you have you should seek expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our medical negligence solicitors operate a free service whereby you can meet us in person or chat over the telephone with one of our experts and obtain initial advice. If you subsequently decide to proceed no further then that is your right and you will not be charged for our initial advice.

Cauda Equina Syndrome Overview

Cauda equina syndrome is a relatively rare compression of the nerve which exists at the tail end of the spinal cord. The term, cauda equina, means �tail of the horses� and is a normal part of the spinal canal. At the end of the spinal canal, the spinal cord splays out into several individual spinal tracts that look like a horse�s tail. If there is compression of the spinal cord at the level of the cauda equina, you can get pain in the low back, sciatica, bladder and bowel incontinence, and sensory motor loss and sensory loss in the lower extremity.

The causes of cauda equina syndrome include anything whatsoever that irritates or pinches the nerves at the tail of the spinal cord. This can happen any time there is herniation of the lumbar vertebral discs, cancer or tumours growing next to the lower spinal cord, infection in the region of the spinal cord, called an epidural abscess, and bleeding which puts pressure on the spinal cord in the lower back.

There are tumours which can result in cauda equina syndrome. Some of these tumours are ependymomas, Paget�s disease of bone, and metastatic cancer to the affected area. You can also get a localized infection to the affected area caused by Staphylococcus aureus, tuberculosis bacterium and other infectious sources.

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include numbness or tingling starting in the buttocks, similar symptoms in the lower extremities (called sciatica), leg weakness, and bladder and/or bowel incontinence. The area of numbness is often that which would be seen in the area of the buttocks that would be gotten if the patient were sitting on the saddle of a horse. This is known as �saddle anaesthesia�.

There is a condition known as partial cauda equina syndrome that happens when only a part of the cauda equina is compressed. There is often a variety of symptoms, which are partial symptoms of the symptoms noted above. With complete cauda equina symptoms, most of the complete symptoms are found in the syndrome.

Cauda equina syndrome is usually diagnosed clinically with the characteristic symptoms found in the patient. There are also hyperactive reflexes in the lower legs. This syndrome is considered a medical emergency so that emergency neurosurgery must be performed. There are great tests for the disease; however, there often isn�t enough time to do them.

The tests are often done in the lower extremities and include electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity testing. CT scans can be done on the lower extremities and the lower spine to check for compression of the cauda equina. An MRI exam can be done instead of a CT scan.

Because cauda equina syndrome is considered a medical emergency and long term compression of the spinal nerve roots can lead to permanent symptomatology, surgery must be done to relieve the pressure. The actual and precise cause of the compression must be discovered so the surgery can be precisely located. Aggressive surgical measures must be done to assure surgical compression as soon as is possible. Antibiotics are given if infection is suspected and the tumour must be removed if present. Radiation and chemotherapy must be done if the tumour can�t completely be removed using neurosurgery.

There may need to be long term management of this condition, depending on the cause of the disease, especially if the symptoms are persistent after treatment. There may need to be medications for pain, supportive brace, urinary catheters, physical therapy and other treatments, as needed.

What is the prognosis for the disease of cauda equina syndrome? It all depends on how much nerve damage has happened and for how long the compression of the nerve roots has occurred. The longer the time of compression, the worse is the outcome when it comes to long term potential. If surgery is done in a timely fashion and no further compression occurs, then there is a good chance of long term survival.


*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here