Intended for healthcare professionals


Good enough general practice

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 27 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:236
  1. Malcolm Lindsay (, general practitioner
  1. the Health Centre, Galashiels

I had admitted an elderly woman with severe sciatica to the community hospital. She needed care while her pain continued. During her second evening in hospital, nurses became concerned about her deteriorating mobility, and I found that she had developed a flaccid paraparesis suggestive of cauda equina compression. I needed urgent specialist advice and telephoned the neurosurgical registrar in the city 30 miles away.

Suddenly I was struggling to survive detailed neurological interrogation. Were hip flexion and extension equally weak? Just what did I …

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