Pursuing Negligent Providers in Cases of Cauda Equina Syndrome

Santa Fe medical malpractice attorney, Richard "Rick" Sandoval, discusses cauda equina syndrome 

Chances are, if you tell the average Santa Fe medical malpractice attorney that you need help with a surgical error case involving cauda equina syndrome, you will be met with a blank stare. That will not be the case when you meet with Richard A. "Rick" Sandoval and his trusted legal team. In over 20 years of practice, Mr. Sandoval has acquired experience representing cauda equina medical malpractice cases, and he is prepared to explain the medical and legal issues to you at your free consultation.

What are the caudaequina?

The caudaequina(Latin for horses tail) are a collection of nerve roots that fan out and extend below the end of the spinal column; the caudaequina innervate the legs and feet, the pelvic organs and genitalia.

What is caudaequina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare condition arising out of compression or inflammation of the cauda equina.

Signs and symptoms 

Common symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include:

  • Severe pain that is concentrated in the low back or that radiates from the low back down the legs (sciatica);
  • Bowel and bladder complications, including loss of control; loss of sensation; numbness; incontinence; and inability to urinate or difficulty initiating urination;
  • Numbness in the groin or perineal (saddle) area;
  • Weakness or numbness in the muscles of the legs;
  • Reflex disturbances in the legs;
  • Sudden onset of sexual dysfunction.

Causes of cauda equina syndrome 

Recognized causes of cauda equina syndrome include:

  • Herniated disc;
  • Trauma or injury (e.g., a car accident, gunshot or stabbing wound);
  • Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the diameter of the spinal canal, often caused by a developmental abnormality or spinal degeneration);
  • Spinal tumor;
  • Medical mistakes (involving, e.g., spinal anesthesia or a spinal tap);
  • Infectious or inflammatory conditions of the spine;
  • Spinal birth defects.

Treatment and prognosis

Depending on the cause of the cauda equina syndrome, treatments may include medications (anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, antibiotics) or radiation/chemotherapy. In most cases, however, emergency surgery is needed to relieve the nerve compression. In fact, medical research indicates that early surgical intervention (within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms) offers the greatest chance for a full recovery. Conversely, the longer the nerves are compressed, the greater the likelihood of permanent nerve damage, including paralysis, loss of bowel and bladder control, and loss of sexual function. Even if surgery is successful, it may take years to recover full bladder and bowel control. Cauda equina syndrome can make it difficult to work and to maintain healthy and productive work, social and family relationships. This strain often leads to depression.

There is no excuse for a doctors failure to timely diagnose and treat cauda equine syndrome.

Contact Santa Fe medical malpractice attorney Richard "Rick" Sandoval

If you or a loved one is dealing with cauda equina syndrome, you need a Santa Fe medical malpractice attorney who understands this condition, knows the medical/legal issues involved, and has the courage to fight for your best interests. If you would like to talk about your situation, please call me at 505-795-7790 or 1-866-BEST LAWYER (1-866-237-8529) to schedule a free initial consultation.

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