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Anyone dealing w/incontinence due to their back problems?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I hope I have this in the right place or does it belong somewhere else. Have a blessed day!!!

Hey, I wanted to know if anyone else is dealing with incontinence due to their back issue, or is the meds doing it to us.

I am a 30 yr old dealing with my problem and just came back from the dr about it and he tells me that my Herinated Disc is pressing on the bladder muscle and it's not working propertly. But he also told me that my meds will make me leak too so what is it? Meds, or Herinated Disc?

I was on a patch to see if it could just be a weak muscle or just my meds. So far, I still have my problem and now workers comp will not pay for another dr visit!

Tell me your side or your opinion.


  • Doesn't sound like people want to talk about it - or maybe they are the lucky ones.

    Cuadal Equina (I know I have probably slaughtered the spelling of that) is what drove me to surgery. I think I could have kept tolerating the pain. But the loss of bladder and all lower leg function got my attention pretty fast when it started happening about this time last year.

    Combine that with the positive discogram and I gave the okay to my NS for surgery.

    I was lucky - I have come out the other side with no recurrances. I do have complications I am dealing with, and it's no picnic, but I'm not in a wheelchair and I'm not having any repeats of those 'other' issues.

    I'm not clear - have you already had surgery or just blocks?
  • Oh, I see - they are still considering surgery for you.

    Get a discogram - do some soul searching - and best of luck
  • When I was doing research prior to my surgery, some of the experts said that Cauda Equina syndrome (loss of bladder or bowel control) is a medical emergency. Now I am quite ignorant regarding if medications can cause loss of bladder control. But I know that when I first saw my OS about my back related issues, that was his first question and he warned me that sometimes postponing surgery can cause such permanent damages. So talk to your doctor, and insist on an answer. This is not a trivial matter.

    Good luck,

  • Yes, Kin is correct. If there is any bladder or bowel involvement, you should seek medical attention immediately. Did a spinal specialist give you such an off-hand remark?? If so, I think I'd be looking for another doctor.

    Please read the information at the following site to see if you think it applies to you:


    The reason this is considered a medical emergency is that the nerves that control the bladder and bowel functions are especially sensitive and can easily suffer permanent damage. You don't want to risk this happening to you by ignoring the problem too long.

    If you think what you are experiencing is CES, call your doctor right away.
  • I lost the ability to feel my bladder after the first back surgery. No one cared. After the third surgery which was the fusion, had me lose the bladder worse (retention), the bowel and my stomach. I don't feel full or empty. No one is concerned at all. In fact, all my doctors just pass me on to the next and tell me not to worry it really isn't an emergency. The next doctor just stares at me and says sorry I have no idea and off to the next one. So now I have completely lost my appetite and taste and no one cares.
  • I am so sorry I haven't been online but I had another appt with the urologist last week but the visit was cut very short and I was told that my private insurance was going to have to pay for my appt???? I am a Workers Comp patience and I wasn't about to give out any of my personal info. She told me that I guess I will have to deal with my problem by myself since workers comp wasn't going to pay for another visit! I wish I was told when they made another appt for me to come back to see them within that 3 week time period! How Dumb! I called my lawyer and told him he said don't worry! Yeah don't worry but this is me you are talking about. Don't worry? lol I can't hold my self long enough to get to the restroom and he tells me don't worry. Anyway I go see my surgeon Thursday and I will tell him I am having problems with my incontinence and see what he will tell me. I can't wait!

    I was put on a patch that started with OXytorol or something like that.

    Like today, I was on my way to see my mother in another county and I stop like twice when normally I wouldn't stop at all. My dog thinks he will not get anywhere when he rides with me. lol I take to may frequent stops to find a restroom.

    Just pray I get to have my surgery soon!! I can't sleep, walk without shame of not making it to the bathroom in a busy mall or at walmart.

  • poise pads are my best friends!...but regular minis do the job in a pinch as well!

    yes, i have been known to shop according to which store has bathroom facilities available to the public!

    my current medical opinion on my frequency/urgency/control issue is that until i lose COMPLETE SENSATION....

    i can now add bowel retention?...i can go as long as a week without a movement...and still have normal movement...and the occasional leakage. all of which has been dismissed.

    early on, i started on detrol la, and it has been a life saver for me! there are a number of generic varieties of the same medication so even if you need to pay for it you should be able to find it pretty cheap!

    please feel free to pm me at any time!

  • I had occasional spotty incontinence before surgery. After surgery, I couldn't tell when my bladder was full until I was hurting so bad I'd run to the bathroom and have to really push to get things started. This gradually improved over several weeks.
    due to the nerve irritation from my hardware I then continued to have urinary retention, difficulty getting started and emptying my bladder completely. Also, along with constipation from the narcotics, my nerves in my rectum became so ultra sensitive that going to the bathroom was extremely uncomfortable and actually caused me to have sensations down my legs and get panic attacks.
    This continued until recently when I had the hardware removed.
    These same symptoms can be a result of nerves pressed upon by bulging discs or irritated by leaky disc fluid as well.
    In general, when incontinence occurs as a result of disc bulge, surgery is pushed to the nearest possible date to prevent permanent damage.

    AND, if the dr office knows it's WC, it is illegal for them to bill your insurance. Remind them that you have an attorney and he will make sure they get paid.
  • I too am covered by WC. There has been no question of my bladder issues as they started AFTER my neck surgery with all the complications. WC pays for my treatment. Ask your surgeon to refer you for a CMG to a urologist who specializes in spine related bladder issues. Also, it may be wise do do a voiding diary and show your surgeon how often you leak, how often you have total floods, which for me no pad is large enough to keep me dry, so I have become more and more of a hermit. Seeing a diary in black and white may motivate the doctor to get you some help. PM me if you have specific questions and don't want to do them on line.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Wow I thought I was alone with my problem... I do see the surgeron tomorrow and I am very nervious or how ever you spell it. I was told by my lawyer that the surgeron is the best in ATL, GA and he should take care of me. And now I am on my monthly :( which makes it more harder for me. I be glad when I don't have them anymore!!!!

    I don't have time to make a dairy but I can right down for the last couple of weeks though. Let me go and take care of that. I already got all my films ready for him I just have to find the place. Talk later will let you know what he says.. I need to take my Neurotin and Vicdion

    Later Taters...
  • Hopeless in MN described my 'issue' the COMPLETE and TOTAL Lack of sensation accompanied by a 'flood'. Scary, scary not to mention BEYOND embarrassing.

    Like I said, it's the final straw that convinced me I needed surgery and was willing to risk surgery.

    Best of luck tomorrow!
  • I have lost almost complete control of my bowels as a result of the disk pressing on my nerves. I am starting to have urine retention problems as well. I checked with a urologist and they could not find any other reason than the nerve getting pinched. My back surgeon said my MRI looked fine and completely disregarded the fact my leg was also numb, I was in a great deal of pain and that the potty issues were becoming prevalent. Needless to say I now have a new surgeon who actually listens. I am scheduled for a fusion on May 19th. It has been so long and so embarassing for me to live like this. I can't wait for it to be over.
  • I would treat is as a medical emergency. And you should let your Surgeom koe.However I was told I would have dribbling after ESIs. I had gone to a Neurologist and expalained I lost my mojo as well as "leaking" He thought it was serious but when I went to the Ortho and his Fellow did the exam and didn't think anything of it. The PM Dr says they're concerned with urinary retention but how do they know that leakage isn't caused by urinary retention without getting catheratized to see if there's residual urine? Anyway I would keep looking if I were you as I also asked for a NeuroSurgeon and no more Orthos. But if you have bowel incontinence, head to a large hospital where they have a Neurologist on call 24/7 It's true Poise pads are great as well as Depends website offers all types of underwear and pads as a free sample. Take care. 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
  • Well I don't know what to do now. I had seen the surgeon that I was referral too and he didn't see anything wrong with me execpt I disc that were herinated are now fused in one spot over a two year period they have fused together and their is nothing he can do.

    I'm highly depressed now and he didn't care that I am leaking and my left leg gets pinched and I fall a lot. Told me to start swiming in a pool. What is that going to do fix my back?

    He told me that my bones are like a 60 year old person very brittle. Has to do with something in my genes the makeup of my body and not the accident he told me. I told him then why before my accident I didn't have any trouble with my back or sharp leg pain? He said I did have the problem but wasn't noticed until the accident at work. But I told him I had lifted 50 lbs. before with no problem. He noticed that I have 4 levels mess up now.

    He didn't want to deal with me because I was a consult and I wouldn't have to come back to him. He made me cry but I did get my medical history from all others who has seen me over a period of time.

    Workers Comp only paid for one visit and now I may not find another doctor to have a referral too from my workers comp doc. He didn't really want to send me over their but he said go head anyways.

    I don't get to have my surgery now. I guess I will have to live with my condition and hopely I'll still get my medication.
  • I have enjoyed reading these Posts. Recently had heavy feeling in thighs which could be caused by muscle wastage. Also had difficulty urinating but over last few weeks this has changed to frequency and urgency and this apparently can be caused by opiates in my case oxycontin. However, my pain specialist is concerned I may have Cauda Equina Syndrome and wants me to have an MRI and I can't get one done before the end of July so am feeling quite anxious as I was also told if it is CES it can lead to permanent paralysis.
    I have an issue with the MRI machines as I suffer badly from claustraphobia and the Dr. said not to have an open MRI as the pictures aren't as clear as with the closed one.
    What I need to hear is should I wait for the MRI at the end of July/August or should I be watching out for any specific symptoms and then rushing to the Emergency Ward? Dillwynia

    2005 L4/5 discectomy and laminectomy. Left with foot drop. 2008 Tendon transfer to lift foot. Foot still paralysed. Spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spondylosis. Numerous bulging discs. Constant pain. oxycontin and panadene forte. Lyrica and Neurontin didn't help the neuropathic pain. Had facet joint injections and spinal blocks but none worked.
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