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Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Amounts Guide – Calculate How Much You Can Claim?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 13th April 2022. Cauda Equina Syndrome, often abbreviated to CES, is a condition in which the nerves in the spinal cord are compressed. The condition is considered a surgical emergency because if surgical treatment is not carried out straight away, there may be irreversible damage to the spine. In this guide, we’ll explain discuss Cauda Equine Syndrome claims and explain when and how you may be able to make this type of claim if you suffer this injury due to another party’s negligence.

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a condition of which the symptoms can very quickly develop. Since it is a very rare condition, it is easy for a doctor to misdiagnose the initial symptoms as normal, general lower back pain, which is a common injury in the UK. however, not catching the early symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome can cause the injury to become much worse and do so very quickly. Due to the severity of the condition and the difficulty in Cauda Equina Syndrome recovery, treatment must be applied within the first 24 to 48 hours before the damage is irreversible.

Whilst Cauda Equina Syndrome is a very rare condition, doctors in either the NHS or private sector should still be able to recognise the symptoms of it, give a correct diagnosis, and begin treatment in a very short time frame. It does not matter whether you were being treated by the NHS, or by a private practitioner, if your GP or hospital doctor failed to diagnose and begin treatment for your injuries fast enough and you were permanently injured as a result, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.

To find out more about Cauda Equina Syndrome, including Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts, please read the rest of our guide below. You can contact Legal Expert for advice on personal injury claims by calling our team on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, you can contact us online using our claim online form or our live chat service.

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A Guide To Cauda Equina Syndrome Claims

Welcome to our guide on Cauda Equina Syndrome claims.

Have you been left permanently injured as a result of Cauda Equina Syndrome which was not diagnosed or treated either correctly or quickly enough? If so, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. You can claim Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation if your injury or the accident which caused it happened within the last three years. This is because there is (in general) a three limitation on making personal injury claims in the UK.

This condition is a serious medical emergency which should be treated as such, with urgent medical attention being provided. Any delays in getting to a medical practitioner or treatment being started can cause injuries which are lifelong, debilitating or even catastrophic.

Any medical negligence or misdiagnosis can potentially have devastating consequences. At Legal Expert we understand the effect this may have had on our clients and their need to be compensated for their injuries. Serious injuries such as from Cauda Equina Syndrome can cause you to not just have a severe physical injury, they can also cause psychological pain as you adjust to managing your condition and even financial distress if you can no longer work. Our team understands the importance of Cauda Equina Syndrome payouts to your overall recovery. You can find out more about Cauda Equina Syndrome malpractice compensation amounts later in this guide.

What Is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda Equina Syndrome claims

Cauda Equina Syndrome claims

Before we look at Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, let’s look at what this condition actually is.

Lower back pain is one of the most common forms of injury in the UK affecting around 2.5 million people across the UK. Whilst for most people this will be an uncomfortable problem, it is not serious enough to require emergency surgical intervention. However in very rare cases it could be one of the early symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome. If you are diagnosed with this you will be admitted to hospital immediately as an emergency surgical patient.

Cauda Equina Syndrome affects the lower back. The Cauda Equina is a nerve group situated at the base of the spinal cord. It is called the Cauda Equina (latin for a horses tail) as it resembles a horses tail. The condition happens when this group of nerves are compressed and then swells up. This affects spinal tissues in a very sensitive part of the body where nerves and information controlling a large part of the body meet.

Cauda Equina Syndrome injuries and damage to the Cauda Equina can lead to you suffering debilitating injuries. Common injuries from the syndrome include the permanent loss of bowel and/ or bladder control, severely reduced mobility, and even degrees of paralysis. In the most serious cases Cauda Equina Syndrome can even be fatal.

You can find out more information about the condition on the Cauda Equina Syndrome NHS page. Alternatively, continue reading to learn about average Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts.

What Are The Main Causes Of Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Before we look at Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, let’s look at what causes this condition.

What causes Cauda Equina Syndrome or CES? CES (as we shall use as a abbreviation) occurs primarily in adults, though it can present in children in much rarer cases. In children it will often present in those who have had a spinal injury or birth defects. Some of the most common causes of CES are as follows:

  1. Ruptured discs in the lower lumbar area. This is the most common cause of CES.
  2. Stenosis which means the spinal canal has narrowed.
  3. Malignant tumors or spinal lesions.
  4. Spinal infections, inflammation of the spine or hemorrhage.
  5. Spinal fractures.
  6. Complications resulting from serious spinal injuries to the lumbar region. These could be caused by accidents such as a road traffic accident or assaults involving stabbing or gunshots.
  7. Birth defects, for example abnormal connections between the blood vessels in this area.

To learn about average Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts, please read on or get in touch with us today.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Before we look at Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, let’s look at some early symptoms to look out for.

Cauda Equina Syndrome compensation claims can be made when the early signs and symptoms of the injury have been missed by doctors and the condition has become much worse. However, it should be noted that in many cases it can be very difficult to correctly diagnose the symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome. The symptoms can present slowly and may often be mistaken for common back pain. Correctly diagnosing CES may need a Cauda Equina Syndrome MRI scan as it can in some cases mimic the symptoms of other lower back conditions.

If you have any of the early symptoms of CES you should visit your GP or local hospital straight away:

  • Severe pain in your lower lumbar area (lower back).
  • Weakness or numbness and pain in both or one of your legs, causing you to have trouble standing up or causing you to stumble.
  • Loss of feeling or a ‘different’ sensation in areas such as your buttocks, inner thighs, hamstrings, lower legs, or feet which progressively becomes worse. This could present in a similar way to the loss of feeling you can get from sitting on a saddle.
  • Any problems with how your bowels or bladder are functioning. This could include problems urinating, urinary incontinence, or retaining waste.
  • Sudden occurrence of sexual dysfunction.

How Is Cauda Equina Syndrome Treated?

Before we look at Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, let’s look at some common treatments for this condition.

Cauda Equina Syndrome recovery is aided by the administration of treatment as quickly as possible. If the doctor treating your condition suspects CES they should appreciate that this could be a possibility, however remote and immediately confirm the diagnosis with further testing.

Their first step should be to perform a physical examination of the area to start looking for the signs of nerve damage. They should also take blood and urine samples to test. This will help discount any other potential condition, such as an infection causing your symptoms. If after having a physical exam, blood and urine tests and if your symptoms look like they are from CES, you should be given a Cauda Equina Syndrome MRI scan straight away. This will confirm the diagnosis.

The examination, testing, confirmation of diagnosis and starting of treatment (such as emergency surgery) should be completed with 48 at the most of you being admitted to hospital. Once the condition is diagnosed you should be taken for decompression surgery as a matter of urgency at the earliest surgical slot.

Depending on what caused your injury additional treatment such as a high dosage course of corticosteroids to reduce any swelling may also be necessary. If your condition was initially caused by an infection you may also be given antibiotics. CES caused by malignant tumors could require chemotherapy or radiation after your emergency surgery.

Even in cases where treatment was administered in the right way and quickly enough, your Cauda Equina Syndrome recovery may still only be partial. Partial Cauda Equina Syndrome recovery may still leave you with certain health problems such as issues with your bowels or your bladder.

For more information on Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, including average to learn about average Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts, please read on.


Over the long term, CES patients will need to go through a process of recovery. You may need to seek specialist Cauda Equina Syndrome physical therapy, visit a social worker to access help from the government, advisors to help you deal with the effects of incontinence, and even sex therapists to help you deal with sexual dysfunction.

If the NHS or a private hospital has failed to diagnose the condition, has not taken the correct action or has delayed your surgical decompression treatment it can be considered medical negligence. In such cases, you could be entitled to make a Cauda Equina Syndrome compensation claim against the hospital or practitioner.

Cauda Equina Syndrome NHS Compensation Claims

You may wish to make Cauda Equina Syndrome claims against the NHS.

Whilst most patients who use the NHS will experience an exceptional level of care, the NHS does not always manage to rise to this level of care and errors can happen – such as the early symptoms of Cauda Equina syndrome being missed. If a patient is given the wrong diagnosis, or if they are discharged from care, not having had the correct testing, the can seek a Cauda Equina settlement. Any and all delays to getting the right diagnosis or treatment starting can be very serious.

If treatment is delayed the damage to the nerves affected will become to severe to repair, leaving the patient with irreparable nerve damage, permanent injury and neurological problems. If someone working in the NHS has been responsible for a delay in your treatment they could be found to be found in breach of their duty of care to you as a patient. As such you could have grounds to seek a Cauda Equina Compensation payout taking account of how this has affected you, such as paying the cost of Cauda Equina Syndrome physical therapy.

For more information on Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, including average to learn about average Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts, please read on.

Medical Negligence Leading To Cauda Equina Syndrome

You may wish to make Cauda Equina Syndrome claims for medical negligence.

In instances where your CES was either caused or made worse by medical negligence or misdiagnosis, you could have grounds to make a Cauda Equina Syndrome successful claims. There are multiple types of claim one can make in instances of medical negligence. Working with a personal injury solicitor which we can provide, they will be able to advise you which fits closest with your individual circumstances and injuries.

The Cauda Equina nerves which are damaged in this type of injury are an important part of movement through the pelvis and lower body as well as in controlling the bladder, bowels and sexual function. Damage to these is extremely serious and not treating it in time is a very serious case of negligence on the part of your medical practitioner.

What Your Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Claim Can Be Made For?

Let’s now take a look at what else you could make Cauda Equina Syndrome claims for, including average Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts.

When making any type of compensation claim for an injury such as a Cauda Equina Syndrome claim, you may want to know more about what types of compensation you can claim for. Remember, your claim doesn’t just have to be for your injuries themselves, they can also be for other expenses. These include:

Claims for care and medical expenses that you might have already or in the future encounter. If your injury necessitates that you require care at home you can claim compensation for this. Similarly, you can also claim for any other medical costs that you have or will encounter. You can also claim any income that you have lost such as income from work or lost benefits. You may also be able to claim for income that you will lose in the future. Finally, you can also claim for travel costs if you have had to travel to and from medical appointments.

If you have suffered injuries from Cauda Equina Syndrome, you could be able to make a compensation claim.

Examples Of Cauda Equina Syndrome Malpractice Compensation Amounts

In this section of our Cauda Equina Syndrome claims guide, let’s look at some average Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts.

Being able to give an accurate personal injury claims calculator for any type of injury can be difficult. In the case of a very serious injury such as Cauda Equina Syndrome, it can be even more complex to claim compensation. We have included a compensation table below to give you an idea of the types of general damages or injury compensation you could claim, as well as how much you may be entitled to. You should note that the unique circumstances of your claim will ultimately determine how much compensation you could be entitled to.

Injury or illness type Severity Settlement Notes
Caude Equina Syndrome Severe Can Be Over £1 Million with extras including loss of earnings.
Back injury Severe £85,470 to £151,070 Damage to the spine or spinal cord (nerve damage as well). There will be pain and disability.
Back injury Severe ii £69,600 to £82,980 Nerve root damage with some loss of mobility, control of the bladder and bowel, some loss of sexual function.
Back injury Severe iii £36,390 to £65,440 Less severe versions of the injuries listed above to the nerve roots, bladder and bowel as well as sexual function.
Back injury Moderate i £26,050 to £36,390 More moderate pain and damage to the spine nerves as well as more moderate disability. Some damage to bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
Back injury Moderate ii £11,730 to £26,050 Much more moderate damage to the back which will be recovered from quicker.
Back injury Minor £7,410 to £11,730 More minor versions of these injuries from which you will fully recover.
Back injury Minor ii £2,300 to £7,f410 Full recovery without surgery in 2 years.
Mental Anguish £4,380 Fear of impending death.

The table above includes injuries which are involved in or similar to those suffered in CES. They also indicate how the level of severity will be a part of any personal injury claim. If you would like a more accurate calculation and estimation of your compensation entitlement contact our team today. The figures in the compensation table have been taken from the latest (2018) version of the Judicial College guidelines.

No Win No Fee Cauda Equina Syndrome Compensation Claims

If you’re thinking about Cauda Equina Syndrome claims, you may be worried about the cost of legal help, regardless of the Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts you could be eligible for.

If you have suffered a condition such as CES, you could be asking pertinent questions such as “is cauda equina syndrome life-threatening“ as well as being worried about how your life will be affected and how, or if you will be able to continue working.

When it comes to living through and with a serious condition such as Cauda Equina Syndrome, one of your biggest worries could be the financial impact it has had upon you. As such you may not have access to the funds needed to pay for your legal fees whilst your claim is being conducted. If you are not able to make those potential payments, there are other ways to do so. The law allows for personal injury solicitors and lawyers to conduct cases under what are known as Conditional Fee Agreement’s or CFA’s. Most people known these as No Win No Fee agreements and they were created to support people who otherwise would not be able to claim compensation.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement your solicitor or lawyer will work on your claim whilst you do not need to make any payments during the case itself. As such, the solicitor working on the claim will assume all of the risks. If they are not able to secure a claim you will not have to make any payments to them at all. If the claim is awarded a settlement then your solicitor will be paid from this. There is a maximum level of fee that the solicitor can levy through this.

You can find further information on this in our guide to making a No Win No Fee claim.

Why Make Your Claim With Our Team

Interested in getting legal help to make your Cauda Equina Syndrome claims? Want to see what Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts could apply to your claim?

Making a medical negligence or other form of personal injury claim for Cauda Equina Syndrome can be complex to do as you will often need to show that a medical practitioner has been at fault in conducting your treatment and care. Cases involving claims against a medical practitioner or hospital need to be handled with care by an experienced personal injury solicitor as the doctor involved could find that their career is ended by this. As such, you need to make sure you use a lawyer or solicitor who has the experience to conduct your claim.

At Legal Expert we are experienced in helping people with specialist claims for rare conditions such as Cauda Equina Syndrome for our clients. We will always try to secure you the maximum Cauda Equina Compensation amount possible.

We also take every case individually and seriously and apply a customer-centred approach to you. We are always driven by meeting your needs, rather than our own and we will never advise you on a course of action which is bad for you, or for your claim. We hope that we offer you a great, secure, and trusted way to make a personal injury claim for rare conditions such as Cauda Equina Syndrome.

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Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts

Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts

If after reading our guide you are ready to make a personal injury claim for Cauda Equina Syndrome, your next step should be to talk to our experienced team by contacting us today. We may even be able to provide you with some estimated Cauda Equina Symdrome compensation amounts.

You can speak to our team by calling us on 0800 073 8804. Alternatively, you can also discuss your claim with our team by using our web chat feature, our online form or you can send us an email to

We will then organise your free consultation where we can discuss your circumstances and whether or not we can help you seek compensation. Talk to us today to start your Cauda Equina Syndrome claim.

Cauda Equina Syndrome claims FAQs

What are the first signs of cauda equina?

Typically, these include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in one or both legs travelling from the buttocks down
  • Groin numbness

How do you test for cauda equina?

Often, this condition can be identified using:

  • X-rays
  • MRI scans
  • CT scans

Is cauda equina syndrome a disability?

If this condition isn’t identified and treated early on, it could worsen over time and result in disabling symptoms.

How urgent is cauda equina?

If you experience symptoms of this condition or are diagnosed by a medical professional, it’s important to pursue and treatment as soon as possible. Often, this comes in the form of spinal decompression surgery.

How long does it take to recover from cauda equina syndrome?

If the condition isn’t treated early on, the resulting disabling symptoms can be lifelong. However, if spinal decompression surgery is undergone as the right time, the recovery process is usually about 4-6 weeks.

Can you sue for cauda equina syndrome?

If you’re suffering from this condition due to negligence by another party that owed you a duty of care, you could be entitled to compensation. You can get in contact with Legal Expert today to discuss your circumstances and whether you could potentially make a claim.

What is medical negligence?

Typically, this is when a medical professional either caused injury or caused an injury to get worse. In order to be classed as negligence, their action or inaction must have fell far below the standard expected of them and another professional in their position could have avoided the suffering they caused.

How can I get in touch with Legal Expert?

Please check out our contact section for information on how to get in touch today.

Useful Links

To find out more information about Cauda Equina Syndrome and its effects, as well as how to make similar types of compensation claim, view the links below.

NHS Lumbar Decompression Surgery

This is a procedure which may be carried out in an emergency if you have Cauda Equina syndrome.

A Guide To Back Injury Compensation Claims

Find out how to make a successful compensation claim for a back injury in our comprehensive guide.

Clinical And Medical Negligence Claims

Our guide to making clinical and medical negligence claims includes everything you should know before making a claim.

UK Back Pain And Injury Statistics

Find out information on the number of people in the UK suffering from back pain and how many working days were lost in the UK due to back pain with information from the Office For National Statistics.

Other Guides You May Find Useful

Would you like to speak to an adviser about Cauda Equina Syndrome claims? You are more than welcome to get in touch with Legal Expert using the contact details included within this guide.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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