Ankylosing spondylitis and medical negligence | Medical Negligence and Private Harm Weblog | Kingsley Napley

I not too long ago settled a declare for a shopper who had ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Our shopper developed a critical spinal twine damage following a comparatively minor fall in his backyard.

AS is an inflammatory situation, primarily affecting the backbone. It might probably trigger ache and stiffness and over time result in among the bones of the backbone fusing. Victims are extra susceptible to spinal fractures, cauda equina syndrome and heart problems. It is extremely essential that medical practitioners give due weight to AS when treating sufferers for different circumstances and recognise totally the elevated dangers which can be related to it.

As a medical negligence solicitor, I’m conscious that this isn’t all the time the case and this could have a devastating influence. Right here I look in additional element at this situation and the medical negligence dangers.

AS is a type of spinal arthritis. The trigger will not be identified, however there may be an obvious hyperlink to a specific gene variant (HLA-B27). The primary signs are again ache and stiffness, however AS may result in arthritis in different components of the physique in addition to fatigue. In extreme circumstances the bones within the backbone could develop collectively, resulting in a inflexible and rigid backbone.

Ankylosing spondylitis and cauda equina syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a uncommon complication of AS. It might probably happen when the nerves on the backside of the backbone turn into compressed. The signs of growing cauda equina can embrace leg ache or numbness, numbness within the saddle space and an alteration to urinary perform. It is important that cauda equina is recognized and handled rapidly, in any other case it could possibly result in critical long-term incapacity, together with restricted mobility and issues with incontinence. If there’s a delay in analysis, referral or therapy, then there could also be a declare for medical negligence. My colleague Richard Lodge has written concerning the pointers for referral in cauda equina circumstances right here.  There’s additionally extra details about cauda equina compensation claims on our related webpage.

Missed fractures and compensation

In these affected by AS, osteoporosis can develop within the backbone, rising the danger of fracturing the bones within the again. Which means that these treating a affected person with AS, following an accident for instance, have to be alive to the elevated dangers concerned. As above, sufferers with AS could expertise spinal fractures even after minor accidents. Fractures will be troublesome to detect on customary radiographs. If a fracture is missed, this could have extraordinarily critical penalties, together with neurological deterioration resulting in paraplegia.

In such conditions there could also be a medical negligence declare for compensation. The quantity of compensation concerned will be very vital the place the damage is critical and results in the necessity for lifelong care and therapy. If a affected person requires variations to their lodging or to maneuver to a property that meets their wants, the related prices could possibly be claimed.

Imaginative and prescient modifications

Iritis (or acute anterior uveitis) is a situation which is usually related to AS. It might probably result in redness and sensitivity of the eyes together with blurred imaginative and prescient. It’s once more important that swift analysis is made as with out immediate therapy the situation can lead to an entire lack of imaginative and prescient. A affected person with suspected iritis who attends at their GP needs to be urgently referred to an ophthalmologist. If there’s a negligent delay then as soon as once more there could also be a declare for scientific negligence.

How we will help

The group at Kingsley Napley are extremely skilled in coping with complicated claims for scientific negligence together with these regarding critical spinal accidents and failures in analysis. We’re properly versed in acquiring specialist unbiased knowledgeable proof and in bringing arguments that there have been failures by medical practitioners to correctly recognise or give ample weight to an underlying situation.


When you’ve got any questions or issues concerning the points raised on this weblog, please contact Aideen McGarry or any member of the Medical Negligence and Private Harm group.



Aideen McGarry is a Senior Affiliate within the Medical Negligence and Private Harm Division. Aideen has expertise engaged on high-value scientific negligence and private damage claims.



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