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Anyone suffered from post op bladder incontinence?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My husband had a microdisectomy 3wks 2days ago. He had an unusually large (consultants words) prolasped disc - L4 L5 (I think)

Lots of pain...numbness...ball of foot etc etc... I have been reading some posts and haven't noticed that anyone has been affected by incontinence since their op (as my husband has) I know this can be a side affect of such an op...but is it permanent?

If anyone has suffered...any advice on how you coped would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much


  • i guess nobody likes talking about it. the kind of thing you like to push back in your head and forget. i personally suffered from those problems for several weeks after surgery on 3 occasions. the surgery irritates nerves that control our excratory systems. the nerves get mad and we get upset. but most of the time things settle down. just have faith all will return to normal. dont hesitate to speak with the dr. keep us posted as i'm sure others here will be able to give you support.....best to you and your husband....pete
  • I believe loss of bladder or bowel control is considered an emergency. I assume you notified your surgeon already? If so, what did he say? If not, do so immediately. If he doesn't think it's a big deal, get a second option as soon as possible.
  • There is a lot of good information at this site:
    http://www.caudaequina.org/definition.html and you can read about cauda equina syndrome on this site too.

    Since the symptoms of CES are so debilitating, I would err on the side of seeing a doctor, or going to the ER and being told nothing is wrong, rather than waiting until it is too late and ending up with permanent damage.

    Please call your surgeon immediately.
  • I am hoping that it does settle down... it is happening up to 5/6 times a day...and he doesn't know it's going to happen until he's wet :(

    We did go to the docs last week and ended up seeing an oncall orthapedic surgeon via the A&E department...but he told him it was early days. And he is due to see the consultant that performed the op in October. As far we know the operation was a success.

    Thanks once again for sharing your experience and offering advice.

  • he still hasn't regained ANY feeling in his left leg...from his bum...all the way down. The doc stuck pins in it last week and he felt NOTHING!!
  • I am assuming your husband did not have this problem prior to surgery....I would not wait until October to investigate this further. Search for cauda equina syndrome and read all you can find out about it...and then decide for yourself, but if it were my husband, I would not live with the situation until October. In two months time, the nerve damage could become permanent.

    I would agree it is still very early in your husband's recovery, but some things do not improve with a "wait and see" attitude. People with CES who follow this advice usually live to regret it.

    Good luck and please look into it more!!
  • http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/c/cauda-equina




    There can be a lot of post-operative swelling which can press on the nerves of the cauda equina, causing bladder and/or bowel problems. Also, less likely, would be some blood pooling, pressing on the nerves. Something is pressing on these CE nerves, causing your husband to lose sensation in the area.

    Hope this is helpful. I know in most cases whatever post-surgical complication that causes CES probably goes away on its own...but most patients are not aware of the meaning of this symptom. I think it is irresponsible of doctors to pass it off as "nothing" without examining the patient.
  • You might want to get him into a urologist real soon. The urologist can run some tests and help determine if it is a result of surgery, age, or something else. He can also prescribe something to help get control of the bladder. Not sure it would help with CES but I wouldn't just assume it is or isn't CES.

    The added benefit is you can use the urologist as leverage with your ortho surgeon.
  • I had a fusion at L5-L4 7 weeks ago. When I came out of surgery I was completely incontinent. As time has gone by and with the help of my PT and exercises the problem has been completely gone for about two weeks.
    Last night I fell out of bed. I am sore in my back muscles but not near my incision. I decided I was fine. I went back to sleep. When I woke up the bed was wet. I got up to go to the potty and urine just ran out of me just like when they first took the Foley out at the hospital. I know this is graphic and something people dont like to talk about but has anyone ever had a relapse like this? Has anyone had a fall that caused this symptom to come back? I am going back to diapers and continuing the instructions from my PT which I see in three days.
  • this also happened to me...well the numbness in the bum and left leg,and my foot. immeditaly when i woke up from surgery......i am 3 months post-op now and my right side is starting to go numb, and im also having bladder issues and major pain...i just spent 3 days in the hospital because of this and after tests and injections they sent me home only to say they have nooo idea what is going on! i suggest you talk to your dr asap and if you dont get any awnsers i would get a second opinion. good luck and i hope he starts to feel better soon...if you have anymore ?s feel free to privite message me jess
  • I had my 2nd op last may L4/L5 for burst disc central spinal also with caudia equina syndrome
    Main issue now apart from stiffness is incontinence mainly urge type,I am fine at nite when lying down so far no beissue's,but when up and about its when got to go you go if you k.ow what I mean I have been using pads which help me to stay dry and I am doing physio.has anyone else had or got simular issues and is this just how it is! Dr says I am not alone and to live with it.
  • I say you should seek out a urologist and let them run the testing to see what is going on. Which I am kind of shocked your doctor has not gotten a opinion from one yet. There are different kinds of medications that can help, but also to be sure what it is. I had the opposite issue of not being able to go, and once I would lie down, I would continue have to get up, to relieve myself, which I did see a urologist, and completed all the testing to see where it was coming from.
  • Thanks for the response Tamtam I think your right I will setupan appointment,it's also a problem when sitting or driving too the thing is trying not lose any dignity with it.
  • roryjrroryj Posts: 6
    edited 12/07/2012 - 6:06 AM
    Thanks for the response Tamtam I think your right I will setupan appointment,it's also a problem when sitting or driving too the thing is trying not lose any dignity with it.
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