1.2million awarded to study emergency spinal condition

£1.2million has been awarded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research to Oxford University Hospitals emergency mdicine doctor David Metcalfe to study the diagnosis of the spinal condition cauda equina syndrome.

Cauda equina syndrome is caused when the nerves at the end of the spinal cord are compressed, with most requiring an emergency operation to take pressure off the nerves. 

Dr Metcalfe, a University of Oxford Clinical Lecturer in Emergency Medicine whose work is supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, said: “Cauda equina syndrome is a spinal emergency and this project will help design services to achieve the best possible outcomes for this group of patients.”

Claire Thornber, Founder of the Cauda Equina Syndrome Association, added: “We are reassured by these efforts to address the issues around Cauda Equina Syndrome diagnosis, management and rehabilitation, as so many patients are being lost in a system without pathways.

“The Cauda Equina Syndrome Association are looking forward to helping this project ensure all patients can access the services they need when and where they need them.”

The Cauda Equina Syndrome Early Recognition (CESER) study, has four phases including; analysis of data from previous studies, recruitment of 2,000 patients with suspected cauda equina syndrome, all hospitals asked how they manage patients who might have the syndrome, and to review the evidence to form recommendations.