Our sectors

We treat all personal data in accordance with our privacy policy.

Cauda equina syndrome claims

Cauda equina syndrome (also known as CES) is a medical emergency and immediate referral for investigation and treatment is required to prevent permanent neurological damage  

If you have suffered a medical injury involving your back or spine you can be reassured that medical negligence solicitors at Leigh Day have extensive expertise in successfully obtaining significant sums of compensation for their clients.

If your cauda equina syndrome has been caused as a result of an accident, or has been misdiagnosed, or been diagnosed too late, and you have been left permanently injured with symptoms such as  saddle anaesthesia, incontinence,  or a change in bladder or bowel function, sexual dysfunction and other symptoms,  we can help you with a compensation claim.

Leigh Day is recognised as one of the best firms of solicitors able to represent clients with complex and serious spinal injury claims, with members of our team on both the Law Society’s clinical negligence panel and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) panel. Leigh Day is also a member of the legal panel of the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association.


What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome occurs when the nerves in the spinal canal have been damaged. As a result, the nerves supplying the muscles of the legs, bladder, bowel and genitals do not function properly.
If you have cauda equina syndrome you may experience numbness, loss of sensation and pain in the legs, buttocks and pelvic region to varying degrees.  Cauda equina syndrome is considered a surgical emergency because if left untreated it can lead to permanent loss of bowel and bladder control and a reduction in mobility along with permanent pain.

What are the causes of cauda equina syndrome?

  • traumatic injury
  • disk herniation
  • spinal stenosis
  • spinal tumours
  • inflammatory conditions
  • infectious conditions
  • clinical negligence

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (often referred to as ‘red flags’)

  • Low back pain
  • Acute or chronic radiating pain
  • Numbness and/or weakness in legs
  • Numbness in perineal area
  • Bowel and/or bladder dysfunction
  • Sexual dysfunction
Most experts agree that people with cauda equina syndrome should undergo urgent  surgery to make more space for the nerves (lumbar decompression) in order to have the best chance for complete recovery.  Our spinal injury claims lawyers have successful secured compensation following claims against medical staff who have failed to make a diagnosis until well after this period, or who have caused cauda equina syndrome because of negligent surgery.

Can I make a claim?

Significant compensation can be obtained if it can be demonstrated that there was:
  • Traumatic injury such as a road traffic accident
  • failure to diagnose
  • failure to treat
  • inadequate or negligent surgery
  • failure to recognise post-operative complications
It will also be necessary to show that you have been left injured by the negligent treatment, suffering from long term physical impairment and/or financial loss.

Examples of cauda equina syndrome compensation settlements

  • £2.25m for a 53-year-old man for the post-operative haematoma he suffered following an operation in May 2013 to assist with his pre-existing spina bifida. He suffered cauda equina, neuropathic pain, incontinence, reduced mobility, sexual dysfunction and fatigue.
  • £1.1m secured for a client who was left with cauda equina syndrome after surgery for spinal decompression
  • Significant compensation obtained for a client who was left doubly incontinent with saddle anaesthesia, numbness on the back of both thighs, and weakness in the right leg.
  • Settlement secured for a client after a failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome following an elective caesarean section.
  • Compensation obtained for a client after a delay in diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome by GPs and A&E practitioners.

What does it feel like to have Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If you would like to talk to our medical negligence team in London or Manchester about a possible claim for compensation relating to cauda equina syndrome please call on 020 7650 1200 and ask to speak to our new client enquiry team, someone will phone you back very quickly.

Share this page: Print this page

Let us call you back at a convenient time

We treat all personal data in accordance with our privacy policy.