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Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Claims

Cauda Equina Sydnrome is a serious condition which can result in range of neurological and physical problems, depending on how quickly it is treated. Quick diagnosis and intervention is crucial in ensuring there are minimal adverse effects.

If you believe that your diagnosis and treatment of cauda equine syndrome (CES) were delayed somehow, then you may have a claim for medical negligence.

Medical Negligence in Cauda Equina Cases

Cauda Equina Syndrome often requires urgent surgery to reduce pressure on the nerves at the base of the back. There is only a short window between the onset of symptoms and treatment to allow for the best chances of improvement. For information on the red flags to be aware of, see the symptoms section of the FAQs.

In some cases, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis could be a result of medical negligence and there may be compensation that you can claim. Compensation is there to support the person whose life has changed, often quite substantially.

Compensation in cases of medical negligence

The range of outcomes in Cauda Equina Syndrome cases can vary widely. Common outcomes after surgery include; lower limb pain, numbness and paralysis, lack of bladder and bowel control, loss of sexual function, and mental health issues from such changes.

Compensation aims to help people who may be dealing with these changes, physically and emotionally. This may come in the form of counselling, supportive equipment and/or specialist therapists – every situation is different.

If you would like to talk confidentially to find out if you have a claim, get in touch with Shine via phone or the contact forms below.

Related information

Common questions about Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Claims

Cauda Equina Sydnrome is a serious condition which affects the small bundle of nerves at the base of the spinal cord. If it is not diagnosed and treated quickly it can result in range of neurological and physical problems.

When there is pressure on these nerves (nerve compression), cauda equina syndrome can occur. Urgent surgery is generally required to relieve the pressure and prevent permanent damage. However, even surgery and treatment may not prevent some of the outcomes from CES.
Cauda Equina Syndrome occurs when there is sustained compression on the cauda equina nerve bundle at the base of your spine.

The most common cause of this is a disc herniation in the lower end (lumbar) of the spine, which results in the disc pushing out and pressuring the nerves. However, it can also be caused by tumours, infections, inflammation, traumas to the lower back and more.

Rapid diagnosis and treatment is required to reduce the likelihood of permanent adverse effects.
There are a number of signs and symptoms to be aware of with CES, these can include:
  • Lower back pain
  • Lack of bladder and bowel control
  • Weakness in the legs and/or feet
  • Recurring or severe back pain
  • Muscle weakness or numbness in your lower limbs
  • Tingling sensation in your buttocks and inner thighs
  • Recent and sudden sexual dysfunction


These symptoms can occur very quickly or build gradually over a number of weeks, months, even years. With both sudden onset and gradual onset of Cauda Equina Syndrome it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
The prognosis of each CES case is generally dependent on how quickly it is identified and treated, although underlying and historical conditions will have effects too. The longer it takes before treatment, the greater the potential for damage to nerves and nerve tissue.

If treatment is delayed, damage to the cauda equina nerves and surrounding tissue can be severe enough to be permanent. However, in many cases where treatment is timely, recovery is possible and the full range movement and function may return. The duration and intensity of the nerve compression will affect how long recovery takes.
Not every case of cauda equina sydrome is the result of medical error on behalf of a medical professional or facility. Every case is different and it depends on your particular circumstances.

Shine Lawyers have expert lawyers who can help you establish if you have a claim for compensation. As part of our service we will take statements from you regarding the treatment and care during the diagnosis, treatment and care.

It’s important for the lawyers to determine the most likely cause of the cauda equina syndrome.
Injury compensation amounts are calculated based on the harm and/or loss suffered rather than the degree of negligence. A medical negligence claim could include compensation for the following:
  • Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of life expectation
  • Past and future loss of earnings
  • Care and help provided by friends or family
  • Paid care and help such as nurses, gardeners, etc
  • Past and future medical expenses, such as surgery and equipment
  • Home and vehicle modification expenses
  • Costs associated with a trustee managing your money


The diagram below shows the key principle behind claiming compensation. In most instances a monetary value is placed on the gap between your life path before the incident, and your life path since the incident.
Compensation Diagram
If you have sustained injury at the hands of a medical professional or practitioner, it’s typically the insurance company of the entity at fault that will pay you the compensation and not the professional or facility themselves.

Medical practitioners are required by law to have suitable Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) in the event of an accident or injury for this reason.
There are time limits when it comes to making a claim for cauda equina syndrome compensation. Generally, in most states under Australian Law, that time limit is three years from the date of the negligent incident.

However, there are a lot of exceptions to this – which is why it’s important to seek the expert advice of a lawyer who can advise you of your rights.
Shine Lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis, which means that if you make a medical malpractice claim you won’t pay our legal fees unless we win.

The legal fees at the end depend on the work required to successfully win your case, so the amount can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Your lawyer will give you a guide as to the expected fees once they understand your case.

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