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Embarressing situation

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This is an embarressing topic but I figured someone here might know what is going on. I had a cervical fusion on C6/7 - T1 on Feb '08 and a lumbar fusion L 4/5,6/7 - S1 w/laminectomy in Oct '08. A few months ago I started having a loss of bowel function every once in awhile. It has started to get worse happening almost every day. It is not a complete loss but enough to be uncomfortable. Bladder control is ok. Has this happened to anyone and is this related to my spine injury? I am only 48 years old. This isn't supposed to be happening for 30 more years!!
Thanks for any help!!


  • This is such a delicate subject and difficult to diagnose whether it is spine related or something else. I think you should definitely schedule an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.

    Maybe it is something as simple as irritable bowel syndrome--well that isn't simple--or something like needing to add more fiber to your diet. Since this is happening daily for you, I do think you need to get checked out. And don't be embarrassed by the situation. It is a serious issue, and unfortunately it seems that this issue is not limited to the elderly. The doctors will take you seriously on this, so give them a call and get checked out.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I had this problem for a short while before my lumbar fusion. I would suggest contacting your doctor. Sometimes this can be due to constipation or may be related to your spinal problems. Only your doctor can make this determination.

    Hope you have a good day.

  • I would definitely contact your spinal surgeon and tell him what is going on. Those lower lumbar nerves all bundle together and form into what is called the "cauda equina" and they have some control over bowel, bladder and sexual functions.

    You can read about it here:


    It may be something very simple, but since you had surgery in that general vicinity, I would get it checked out. The danger in ignoring it is that CES can cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated.
  • Thank you all for your input. Needless to say I am a little scared. I see my doc on Tuesday and will talk to him about it then. Will let you know.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hi Doxie

    I agree you must get this checked by a doctor, but it happened to me in 1995, all was checked and nothing other then spine related issues were found. I have a good fibre diet and that has helped 100%, and if it is a long term problem like mine, IBS with nerve damage, it does become manageable.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • My NS doctor was surprised that I didn't have this problem as bad as my back is I did some reseach and agree with gwennie17..

    Good luck

  • Doxie,

    Have you been to the doc yet?? What did he say?

    I personally know how embarassing it can be, but your doctor can help.

    I know because I have crohn's disease which is one of the Irritable bowel diseases, along with ulcerative colitis.

    I wish you all the best!

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