Written by

Michael Gray - Partner, Senior Solicitor

There are approximately 2,500 people in the UK that are either injured or diagnosed with a spinal cord injury every year and there are 50,000 people in the UK that are living with a spinal injury. This number has increased and the research shows that the nature of spinal injuries have changed. There are now more older people sustaining spinal injuries and more people are being diagnosed with conditions such as Cauda Equina Syndrome or cancer which can leave them paralysed. The research also shows that only between one third and half of the recently injured people are able to access specialist NHS care, and even if they are able to access this care, they will receive delays prior to their admission. 

This article will be looking at some of the most common spinal injury claims. 


What is a spinal cord injury?

The spinal cord lies inside of your spinal column and it extends from the lower part of your brain down through the lower back. A spinal cord injury occurs when there is damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that send and receive signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body. 

A spinal cord injury can be caused due to a direct injury to the spinal cord but it can also be caused due to damage of the tissue and bones that are surrounding the spinal cord. 

Often, after a patient has sustained a spinal cord injury, surgery will be necessary in order to remove fragments of bones, any foreign objects, herniated disks or fractured vertebrae that could be compressing the spine. Another reason that surgery may be necessary is to stabilise the spine and prevent any future pain for the patient. 


Common causes of a spinal cord injury: 

Some of the most common causes of spinal injuries in the UK are:

  • Falls
  • Road traffic accidents 
  • Sports
  • Trauma 

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury: 

The symptoms of a spinal injury will vary depending on the severity of the injury and where the injury occurred on the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can cause one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Numbness in your hands or feet 
  • Loss of movement 
  • Paralysis 
  • Headache
  • Trouble walking
  • Pain in your back or neck area
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control 


Common types of spinal injury claims

There can be many different types of spinal injury claims, below we will discuss some of the different types of claims that patients can make relating to spinal injuries.


Misdiagnosis claims 

If a spinal injury has been misdiagnosed or has failed to be diagnosed then it can often mean that the injury could go untreated and could become worse for the patient. Medical misdiagnosis is one of the largest areas of medical negligence claims and it can have devastating impacts on patients such as delays in treatments and worsening pain.


Spinal surgery negligence claims

There are many different types of spinal surgeries and they all involve an element of risk to the patient and surgery negligence can cause an even greater risk and volume of injury to the patient. 

Unfortunately, there are several things that can lead to spinal surgery negligence that can occur during pre-operative checks, during the surgery or during the aftercare. Some of the most common types of spinal surgery negligence are:

  • The surgeons making a mistake or using the wrong technique during the surgery 
  • The wrong equipment was used 
  • Anaesthetic was not administered properly
  • There was a delay in your surgery which could have meant your condition got worse 
  • A lack of follow up appointments after your surgery 


Severe spinal injuries claims

If you have suffered a severe spinal injury such as Cauda Equina Syndrome, then it is important that you are treated as quickly as possible because any failings in treatment and care can lead to serious consequences for the patient. 

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a condition that affects the nerve routes at the bottom of the spinal cord, it is quite a rare condition but it can be extremely serious and disabling. If it is diagnosed and treated quickly then patients could make a good recovery from the condition but if the diagnosis is delayed, then the treatment will also be delayed and can cause patients a lot of harm. Due to the rareness of the condition, it can lead to frequent misdiagnosis making it a common type of spinal injury claim. 


Making a claim

At Patient Claim Line, we have medical negligence experts who can support you if you have suffered any negligence relating to your spinal injury. Unfortunately, there are many types of medical negligence that can occur if you have suffered from a spinal injury which can lead to devastating outcomes, that’s why we want to help. 

If you have suffered any medical negligence relating to a spinal injury or spinal surgery, then please get in touch with one of our medical negligence experts who will guide you through your claims process.



Concerned about your medical treatment?

Contact us today!