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Bladder Queston

Nana ShanNNana Shan Posts: 36
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Spinal Stenosis
A kind of embarrassing question? :$ I have been experiencing mild bladder problems and wondering if anyone else has the same problem? I have to really work at emptying my bladder completely out and sometimes can’t? I asked my GP about this and he seemed concerned but just said if you lose control of your bowels or bladder, go to the hospital emergency right away. Has anyone else experienced this with Lumber Stenosis? Sounds like just another of the many fun conditions of Spinal Stenosis?


  • First of all, I would be going to see your orthopaedic specialist immediately, Nana. The following might tell you why I say this.

    My husband and I just received depressing news about his condition so allow me to tell his story from the beginning.

    About 3 years ago he began having leg pain, heaviness, numbness and general discomfort. No back pain. He saw his MD for a test for his circulation. A-OK. Then he had his knees X-Rayed and was advised that he would need bilateral knee replacement in the next 10 years or so (by his MD). The leg pain became more pronounced and he was sent to an orthopaedic specialist who announced that he would need a double knee replacement immediately, this was done in March 2007. Despite marvellous flexibility, he just wasn't recovering even though he was dedicated to his exercises. The pain in his thighs remained. We spent 2 months in Florida, renting a house with a pool last winter, and he ex'd. at least 4 hrs per day. Upon leaving Florida, we realized that in fact he was no stronger and the pain was worse. So back to the specialist (not his original one, he had moved elsewhere), but his associate. She immediately said, oh..it's not your knees it's your back. He saw a spine specialist at the same time who immediately ordered MRI's and X-Rays. He said the condition was very serious, by this time my husband was having some problems controlling his bladder and having bowel urges in the middle of the night (sorry to be so graphic). Anyway, immediately he had surgery, this was June of this year. Sadly his condition, except the bowel/bladder, has not improved at all. More MRI's ordered and we had our final appointment a couple of weeks past. We were told that the bladder issue was a "major bonus" and that with his "profound spinal condition" what we have is what we have. In other words no progress just damage control.
    I cannot tell you how terribly disappointing this is to pretty well know this is as good as we can expect. So my question is does anyone out there have any suggestions, similar stories or advice. I do intend to get him into a pain management clinic for possibly some better pain control (still no back pain, just leg pain and walking with 2 canes). He plans to try and get a little weight off and exercise.
    Thanks for listening.
  • I also have spinal stenosis and have had a laminectomy and 2 fusions. After the laminectomy I had some bladder problems, such as lack of control. I discussed it with my PT and she had me get a device called Myself, which is a pelvic muscle trainer. Sorry guys, its only for women. You can google Myself Pelvic Trainer and get more info. They are available to order online. It worked wonders for me and I used it again before my first spine fusion so I wouldn't have any problems afer the surgery and I didn't.


    14 surgeries including L4/5 laminectomy; L4/5 fusion (360) and L1-L5 fusion.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Yes, I have had bladder problems with my stenosis. Last fall and winter I actually lost full control when I galloped on my horses or sneezed. I had leakage and trouble emtying all the way (try leaning forward to help empty your bladder, it does help.) It can be very serious if you lose control (not just leakage. The Docs say to go into emergency if you do. I didn't and for some reason I'm not having trouble any more. I guess Physical Therapy has strengthened my pelvic floor enough that it's no longer an issue. I guess I'm saying all this to tell you that you definitly should get it checked out but it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll need surgery, maybe just pelvic floor strengthening. Good luck!
  • have difficulty emptying my bladder. I have read that as we age our bladder loses elasticity and sags which makes it difficult to fully empty bladder. I have chalked my symptoms up to this.
  • :? i have experienced the same problem since a back injury; i have pain and numbness in legs also have spinal stenosis my Doc. say's this will occur;bladder weakness,not much to do but try and strengthen muscles might sound rude but try often to stop urinating mid stream often when emptying bladder i found it helps and you'll notice a difference. and don't wait too long if you feel the need to urinate go immediately don' wait.
  • I was told by the pm Doctor that I would have leakage for awhile after the epidurals and he was right it's been 2 weeks since my 2nd shot and I'm still having problems. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm in a pretty similar situation to your husband's. My diagnosis is "post laminectomy syndrome" which means, in essence, they did the surgery but the pain and wekaness/heaviness is still there. (In my case, its actually worse.) The only possibility for pain relief at this juncture (according to my spine surgeon) is to see a pain managment doc and ask about a spinal cord stimulator. You can look at the pain managment forum to learn more about SCSs. Susan
  • Question for you.

    Have you checked the medications that you are taking for "difficulty urinating" listed as a side effect?

    Cymbalta is a good one for causing this.

  • I can relate to your situation--I too have lumbar stenosis, ddd, and chronic herniations in the lumbar area. I started leaking probably 4 yeaars ago, and finally sought help for it from a uroligist (very helpful--will do tests to find out why and from where is the problem) mine is sensory problem and am on detrol to slow the urgency a bit (still need to hobble very quickly at times :))( )but it does help.
    my advice to you would be to check with doc for infection, drug reaction, so forth and then follow up w/a uroligist. follow the plan of the docsand don.t be afraid to make up your own mind as well. it's embarassing for me to have to wear pads in public and to know thee location of every bathroom for any store that i go to. knowing that if not careful will wet myself. now starting to affect bowel as well and fear that soon will lose all control--but at least then the surgeons will finally HAVE TO FIX ME!)
    sorry for the long post, but stay positive.
  • Ever since my first surgery I lost the ability to pee when I think I should. You know how you go before you get into the car to go away and you want to go? Well I can't. I think and try and nothing. Then during the third surgery when they went in from the front I lost the ability to know when my stomach is full or even if I am hungry. My bowels I don't sense at all either. I tell my doctors and they just look at me and shake their heads. To me this is worrisome but haven't gotten then to understand. An MRI showed I still have pressure on the S! nerve root. We will see what happens next.
  • Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Lauren the leaning forward really works well. I will do my Kegel exercises but I do not necessarily think that it is my age or muscles because this came on suddenly and was not a gradual change?
    Thanks again, this site is really great.
  • My husband ended up with 2 infections because of this. He got a bladder infection from the catheter. Then, it went into his kidney--probably reinfected himself from not emptying his bladder completely.

    He is scheduled for a urodynamic test. The urologist really thinks it is related to his spine. He sees the surgeon today---so he will mention it. Another can of worms!!
  • Nana, I am having the same problem, difficulty getting started urinating and feeling as if I have not completely emptied my bladder. I am 2 weeks post op from a laminectomy for a herniated disc at L4/L5. I am assuming that the swelling from the surgery is causing this problem and/or some of the medication that I'm on. (Flexiril, Lortab, Neurotin) I have mentioned the problem to my doctors nurse by phone call and did not get any sort of response. So, I am assuming they are not concerned. However, if it gets worse I will make sure they listen to me because I believe the risk is the possibility of a bladder or kidney infection. The leaning forward as someone suggested is helpful but since I'm post op I'm not really supposed to bend that way.
    Hang in there and as always contact your doctor if you continue to be concerned.
  • I had ACDF 3 level, C4 - 7 on July 26, 2011.

    I recently became aware of having that feeling of not being able to empty my bladder. I mentioned this to my family doctor. I was told it was probably due to me being a diabetic.

    I work in a clean room computer chip manufacturing plant and do not drink enough water nor empty my bladder as often as I should. It takes me almost 15 minutes just to get down to the bathroom. After work and on my days off I drink water frequently.

    Now I am wondering if my "bladder problem" is due to my surgery or to me being diabetic. I am 53 and thought it might be something that most people over 50 experience. I will mention this to my surgeon when I see him again on March 16.
  • I saw my pain management dr this week & explained that since the spinal injection I had that I'd experienced bladder leakage during sleep which is utterly embarrassing & something I've not experienced since I was 3 years old. This problem exactly coincided with the spinal injection I received & I believe it's connected only to be told at my last pain management appointment that was impossible which I refuse to believe. I'm in so much pain & unable to sleep properly now yet my pain management dr will still only allow me 1 hydrocodine acetaminophen 10/325 every 8 hours which far from helping , it only tortures me more. I don't understand why it seems impossible to get the help I desperately need. I've just about given up because I can't imagine continuing on this way indefinitely.
  • HcoolHHcool Posts: 7
    edited 12/29/2015 - 9:28 PM
    On Thanksgiving I attempted to make a great Thanksgiving feast for my family but after lifting my 16lb turkey out of the oven & feeling something bad in my back I was overcome instantly with the most intense itching from head to toes along with severe pain that lasted 2 days & was not alleviated by anything. Again my pain management consultation gave me no answer & despite unbearable pain won't allow me to take a hydrocodine acetaminophen 10/325 pill more often than every 8 hours which doesn't help much at all when to be honest the pain pill only effectively works for about 3 hours. I'm so depressed & feel so utterly hopeless right now & don't understand why a dr couldn't have any compassion at all. I actually haven't even seen the dr that gave me the injection since I had it & it made things worse over 3 months ago. I was frankly surprised to be given a follow up appointment 3 months after the injection & receive no real help despite my calls emails & concerns following the injection. I really don't feel the pain management Doctor cares at all about addressing my very real problems & pain. I just don't know how to get any help I desperately need & have been begging for. It's probably due to [edit] regulation & total lack of necessary care that might cost too much. He probably would be happy for me to end my misery & pain once & for all but as a Catholic I could never commit a mortal sin like that.
  • A year after surgery and once again I totally wet myself at work. I couldn't get to a washroom fast enough as when the urge came on it was too short notice cor me to get there in time. I keep reading things like "go to Emergency immediately if you lose control of your bladder!" . But some people say it's just a side effect of spinal stenosis surgery. Weird that it is happening in the last few months as I was totally fine for 9-10 months AFTER surgery. Now I am back at work though inmy physical job and maybe this is exacerbating the symptoms. Anyone?
    Spinal Stenosis; post-surgery severe throbbing leg; sleep deprivation (pain) ; and now... incontinence issues!
  • oczackooczack Posts: 1
    edited 01/05/2016 - 10:08 AM
    I had a spinal fusion, 2 titanium rods and 6 screws with a large bone graft to boot. L5, 4 & 3 fused and screwed together as one piece now, Removal of one ruptured disc, I think between 4 &5 and repair of 2 herniated discs, between 4 &5 and 3 & 2. None the less 2 discs trimmed and 1 removed. Also had pretty painful stenosis and had some arthritis ground out during the surgery. About a 7 1/2" incision. This was back in April 2007. I've healed well but still have some pain, not a lot though but lots of morning stiffness to this day. I think from scar tissue and an occasional shot of what feels like nerve pain. I've had pretty consistant issues with urgency to urinate since back to when I was diagnosed with the back issues in 2006 or 2005. I can hold it pretty good and when I tighten my stomach muscles the urgency seems to go away but returns when I loosen the muscle tightening. Is it likely this can be from the surgery ? I had 6 epidural injections before the surgery as well. This has been going on for a long time now. I am now 69 yrs old and a male. Anyone have any thing they might enlighten me about on this issue ??? Thanks
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,233
    edited 01/06/2016 - 1:57 AM
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  • Interesting.  Thank you.  I will look into this.
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