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What are the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome after a wreck?

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2023 | car accidents

Sometimes, car accidents leave victims with obvious injuries that require immediate attention – and, sometimes, they don’t. 

You can walk away from a wreck through sheer adrenaline, even if you’re seriously hurt. Other injuries may only manifest over time as inflammation and swelling set in. Cauda equina syndrome is one of these, but victims often believe that they have nothing more serious than a pulled muscle or two in their backs.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome involves the compression of nerves in the lumbar area of your spine. Without prompt treatment, you can quickly develop numbness and paralysis in the “saddle area” of your body. The damage can be permanent. 

How do you tell if you might have cauda equina syndrome instead of ordinary low back pain after a wreck? The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can vary from person to person, but they typically involve a comb of the following:

  • Intense low back pain: This pain is often focused on the lower back and may be accompanied by pain in your legs and pelvis. It will likely get worse over time, unlike ordinary muscle strain.
  • Leg pain or weakness: Numbness, weakness and pain in one or both legs is a big sign. You may experience difficulty walking and a feeling of heaviness or clumsiness in your legs.
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction: Problems with urinary and bowel function are a hallmark of this condition. This may include difficulty urinating, urinary retention, loss of sensation in your genital area or the loss of your bowel control.
  • Numbness or altered sensation: Numbness or tingling in the buttocks, genital region or legs.– especially if it continues to spread – is a big sign of trouble

If you suspect you have cauda equina syndrome or are experiencing any concerning symptoms after a wreck, seek immediate medical attention. 

Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you have every right to expect fair compensation for any losses caused by a negligent driver. Experienced legal guidance can help you take the next steps.