Potential Long-Term Effects of Cauda Equina Syndrome

Medical teams must act quickly to treat injuries and prevent long-term damage to the spine. Failure to do so can result in an individual suffering long-term health difficulties with a low possibility of a full recovery.

When failure to respond to an injury, a misdiagnosis, or a lack of medical care results in cauda equina syndrome (CES), the legal team at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC can investigate your injuries and help you recover compensation. Our trusted team of Portland medical malpractice attorneys does not hesitate to stand up to insurance and medical agencies on your behalf.

How Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) Occurs

At the end of the spinal cord is a collection of nerves resembling a horse’s tail called the cauda equina. These nerves are responsible for sending and receiving messages from the pelvic organs and lower limbs. When the nerve roots are damaged along with multiple lumbar of the spine, it is called cauda equina syndrome (CES).

CES is most often attributed to the massive herniation of a disc in the lumbar region. However, it can be caused by other injuries, strains, or improper medical treatments and conditions. Prompt intervention can help prevent permanent nerve damage, but prolonging, failing to treat, or misdiagnosing a patient often prohibits the individual from fully recovering.

Long-Term Effects Associated with CES

Psychological trauma often accompanies CES because of the type of effects on the body. CES can take an immense emotional toll on an individual. Some of the long-term impacts that an individual with CES may experience include:

  • Sciatic pain: This nerve starts at the lower back, traveling down each leg through the hips and the buttocks. Herniated discs can be a primary cause of the pain and are often accompanied by inflammation, numbness, and extreme discomfort.
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis in the lower body: The cauda equina can no longer effectively transmit messages to the lower limbs of the body.
  • Urinary retention: Because of damage to the pelvic organs, an individual with CES will not experience the urge to urinate. This symptom is the most common symptom associated with CES.
  • Incontinence: Both bladder and stool incontinence can occur.
  • Sexual dysfunction: Sex organs in the pelvis are affected by damage to the cauda equina.
  • Saddle anesthesia: Areas that normally touch a saddle, such as the back of the legs, thighs, and outer rectum area, may experience a loss of sensation.

When CES is chronic, individuals often lose social connection and become unable to work because of pain, incontinence issues, and loss of motor and sensory incapabilities. Depression that accompanies such injuries is a threat to mental health and often requires ongoing psychological counseling.

The pain associated with cauda equina syndrome often requires medication. Because this pain affects the central nervous system, it usually worsens at night. Victims of this medical condition may experience a nearly-intolerable burning phenomenon or the sensation of pins and needles.

Experienced Portland Medical Malpractice Attorney

The effects of cauda equina syndrome can be compounded when medical practitioners fail to respond with an adequate standard of care. Defining and proving medical malpractice can be challenging, but Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC ensures trusted practices to navigate these challenges successfully. A free consultation with our team will ensure you are not alone in your fight for fair compensation for your injuries.