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Cauda Equina Misdiagnosis
Delayed Cauda Equina Surgery Leaves Patient in Constant Pain

Delayed Cauda Equina Surgery Leaves Patient in Constant Pain

Mandy had suffered with pain in her left leg for some time and had been seeking help from her GP and a spinal consultant. When she then began to experience pain in her right leg, she became concerned. She returned to her GP who advised her to rest and take pain relief.

Mandy's symptoms began to deteriorate with pins and needles and the feeling that her legs would give way. She sought advice from NHS 111 and returned to her GP. She was told that she was probably suffering from a nerve injury and that a physiotherapy appointment would be arranged.

She was also advised that she should go straight to Accident and Emergency if she developed any symptoms such as changes to her bowel or bladder function, or loss of perineal sensation.

Mandy returned to hospital concerned about her symptoms and underwent a further examination. She was advised that she would need an urgent outpatient MRI scan.

However, the following evening, Mandy's symptoms took a turn for the worse as she became aware of numbness around the buttocks. Consequently, she went to see her GP first thing the next morning. By this time, she was unable to feel her feet and was experiencing some numbness in the saddle area. Her GP advised her to go to hospital immediately where they were expecting her.

Unfortunately, having arrived at hospital, Mandy had to wait for around two hours before she was seen even though the Emergency Department had been expecting her. When she was examined, it was found that she was unable to stand, was unable to flex her ankles and had weakness and numbness in both feet. She was also experiencing altered sensation in her perineum.

An MRI scan was arranged and took place later that afternoon. This showed compression of the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine and it was agreed that Mandy needed to undergo surgery to resolve this. However, although our expert found that Mandy's symptoms merited surgery that evening, she did not, in fact, undergo decompression of her nerves until the following afternoon.

Mandy has been left with bladder and bowel difficulties. She continues to experience considerable pain and reduced mobility which restricts what she is able to do. In trying to come to terms with how her life has changed, Mandy sought assistance from Glynns to assess the quality of her medical care.

As a consequence of our investigations, she was awarded more than £150,000 in compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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