Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Claims



A rare condition, cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical emergency that needs swift treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications such as paralysis or permanent incontinence. If your doctor or other medical professionals do not treat the condition correctly and you suffer harm and loss due to this negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation.

We all know that medical professionals work hard but unfortunately sometimes mistakes are made, and these can have life-changing consequences. At Forbes, our expert clinical negligence solicitors can help you if you have suffered due to medical negligence; we will listen to your story and if we think you have a claim, we will be with you every step of the way. Contact our clinical negligence lawyers today on 0800 037 4625.

In most cases, we work on a no win no fee basis and we are proud to be one of the few legal firms in northern England to offer Legal Aid, also known as Legal Service Commission Funding.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

The NHS describes Cauda equina syndrome is when the nerves in the spine, known as cauda equina, become severely compressed. It is a rare and severe type of spinal stenosis and can come on very suddenly. If you are diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome you will need to go to hospital straight away and possibly have emergency surgery. If you are misdiagnosed or you are not treated fast enough you may end up suffering from permanent paralysis or incontinence.

Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that can progress quickly and if your GP, A&E doctors or your chiropractor do not recognise the symptoms or misdiagnose you, then you may be able to claim cauda equina syndrome compensation.

The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can include:

  • Severe weakness or numbness in both legs that may get worse
  • Sciatica on both sides
  • Numbness around your genitals or anus
  • Finding it difficult to control your bladder and bowel function and this is not normal for you

Cauda equina is Latin for 'horse's tail' and refers to spinal nerves that supply the pelvic organs and the lower limbs such as hips, knees, ankles and feet with energy. They are called cauda equina as they resemble a horse's tail.

Cauda equina syndrome causes

One of the most common causes of cauda equina syndrome is from a herniated disc (also known as a slipped or ruptured disc). This can happen in several ways:

  • Lower back trauma (e.g. an accident, gunshots and falls)
  • Spinal tumours
  • Birth abnormalities
  • Spinal malformations
  • Spinal haemorrhages
  • Lower back surgery such as lumbar decompression surgery complications
  • Spinal anaesthesia

It can be difficult to diagnose cauda equina syndrome as is does mimic other conditions, however, the medical professionals should know how to spot this severe condition and ensure you have the best care possible.

Cauda equina syndrome treatment

When cauda equina syndrome is diagnosed, speed is essential. Generally, emergency surgery is required to ease the pressure on the cauda equina spinal nerves.

Long term effects cauda equina syndrome

Depending on how swift and effective the treatment of cauda equina is you may suffer from:

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Suffer severe pain
  • Motor weakness
  • Sensory loss
  • Sexual dysfunction

Even with swift and effective treatment, it may take time to get the control of your bladder and bowel back to normal and you may have to undergo rehabilitation to recover motor strength. While recovery can take many months, it can be possible to have a good quality of life after suffering from cauda equina syndrome.

However, if you were misdiagnosed or your treatment was delayed, it is not always possible to recover these functions. If you have suffered harm or loss due to medical malpractice, then you may be able to claim compensation.

Our expert clinical negligence solicitors will help you gather the evidence you need to build a case and ensure that you are seen by an independent medical expert who will help us determine your likely prognosis and future treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a late or misdiagnosis of cauda equina syndrome, then contact our compassionate medical negligence team today on 0800 037 4625.

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Cauda equina syndrome FAQs

How much compensation will I get for cauda equina syndrome?

How much compensation you will get for a cauda equina syndrome case will depend on several factors including:

  • The severity of your injury and the suffering it has caused
  • What treatment is needed
  • The level of care you will need now and in the future
  • Whether or not you need to make adaptations to your home or vehicle
  • Loss of earnings and other expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment

Anyone making a clinical negligence claim will need to see an independent medical expert. They will assess the severity of the condition and will outline what your future treatment should be. We use the above factors and the independent medical expert findings to decide on the level of compensation we will ask for.

Cauda equina syndrome can be life-altering and claiming compensation may mean you have the opportunity to have a better quality of life and help pay for:

  • Private medical treatment
  • Rehabilitation that may not be available on the NHS
  • Adaptation to your home
  • Therapy
  • Transport
How long do I have to claim compensation for cauda equina syndrome complications due to medical negligence?

As with all medical negligence claims, you will have three years from the date of knowledge of the condition to start your claim. There are exceptions to this that relate to children and those who lack the mental capacity, however, in most cases you have three years to bring your claim. Medical negligence claims can be complicated and having an experienced solicitor on your side will help you get the best outcome for your situation.

Our clinical negligence solicitors will listen to your story and if they think you have a case, then we will help with every stop of the process - from gathering evidence to, if needed, representing you in court and ensuring you get the compensation your situation deserves. Very few medical negligence cases end up in court, so it is highly unlikely that your case will end up in front of a judge, and if it does, we will be there to support you every step of the way. Contact us on 0800 037 4625 and start your cauda equina syndrome compensation claim today.

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 - Play video

Video length: 4m 41s

Leonie Millard, a Partner in our Clinical Negligence department and Anthony Burns from Ecovery discuss commonly asked questions on Cauda Equina Syndrome.

Our dedicated Clinical Negligence team

Partner, Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Solicitor

John Bennett


Personal Injury


Call01254 872111

Associate Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Solicitor

Leonie Millard


Clinical Negligence


Call01254 770517

Lisa Atkinson

Lisa Atkinson


Personal Injury


Call01254 222448


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