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Post Surgery questions...

sassssass Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery

My partner has a back surgery two weeks ago. I am not sure which one it is, but they stapled her nicely :-)

She went into surgery with back back pains and sciatica. She could not walk, nor stand. Was horrible.

They surgery took 4 hours. They removed the herniated disc that was pressing the nerve (L5) and did some work on L3 & L4. Those two were also giving her trouble.

When she woke up the next day she said she had no back pain, nor sciatica pain down her legs (both of them).

The doctors told her that she ripped quite a lot of scar tissue and muscle in her back. He said it was a mess in there.

From the first day of the post-surgery she does not have much feelings at the sole of her feet, as well as the vaginal and anal area of her body.

She does seem to walk holding a walker and she is getting better at that. In time, she will build her muscle to walk without it.

The part the worries more is that she can't control our urine and #2. She feels a bit pressure in her tummy area when she thinks she needs to go, but that is it.

So from two weeks ago up till now, she has a kateter (that tube that passes the urine to a bad).

This week she will be moving to a rehab center to get her working on her back and strengthening herself. Plus today we're getting an MRI done on her.

Question, did anyone expedience this? Does the feelings there eventually come back?



  • Whenever there is a problem with the lower lumbar discs, there is always a risk of damage to the spinal nerves that control feeling/sensation and movement in all the areas you mention. There is always a danger of developing cauda equina syndrome. Please read through the information about CES to familiarize yourself with it and its symptoms, and ask her doctor about the possibility.


  • i agree with Gwennie comments regarding cauda equina syndrome .but i must say that she sound a lot better than when she went in regarding back/leg pain .she may have weired sensations in her legs and feet and even her genital and anal area after surgery .i still do and my last op was 3 years ago .if i sit on a normal chair my genitals go numb and so dose my right leg and foot ..this returns back to normal as soon as i get up .i have also lost the ability to maintain an erection and sometimes struggle passing urine .so this is not an uncommon thing but dose need sorting out with your doctor should it persist.i wish her well with her recovery and make sure that she dose not over do things even if she is feeling well .there are many of us on here that have had repeat surgery on our backs due to maybe over doing things when we felt better or just miss fortune
  • thanks for your replies.
    I've been reading about CES and it seems clear what is going on. i just hope this non-sensation in the genital area and rectum will come back eventually.
    at least we know she is not the only one out there.

    if anyone can write their stories about similar situation, please go ahead.
  • Please don't become an "Internet Diagnostician" with something of this potential magnitude. It generally only leads to confusion and added anxiety.

    Yes CES is a potential issue with lumbar issues, however more times than not, it is something else totally unrelated to CES that is causing these types of symptoms.

    If your partner is still under the care of the doctors and is going to a rehab facility, she is in the right place to get the proper treatment, answers and accurate diagnosis.

  • the MRI results came back.
    there is no real nerve damage to the urine/rectum area. the doctor says the sensation will come back, but they dont know when. the good side, that my partner feels she is peeing, but cant control it. so she will be going to rehab to learn to build the muscle again in those areas.
    so now...we're waiting either today or tomorrow to move to a rehab for her urine problem and the legs...in other words, we have a long journey ahead of us.
    thanks again everyone :-)
  • That's great news...and hopefully, things will clear up quickly for your partner. I would just suggest that you read through all the information on that website I suggested, and look at the anatomy diagrams, so you will be familiar with this information.

    As I mentioned above, I feel it is important for anyone who has issues at L4-5 and L5-S1 in particular, to familiarize themselves with CES, the symptoms, when to call a doctor, etc. The symptoms for CES and a number of other issues are basically the same...but if it is CES and the doctor misses the diagnosis, the nerve damage is often permanent.

    Many patients do not know about CES, and, unfortunately, some doctors are not that familiar with it either. So for these reasons, I feel it is important that each lumbar spine patient and his/her support system learn about CES. Hopefully the information will never need to be used...but it won't hurt to have it tucked away.

    Good luck to both of you.

  • hi gwennie17,
    today my partner got released from the hospital and sent to the rehab center. it is one of the best in world (in Israel).
    In her release notes from the surgeon and doctors, it says she has CES, but they dont think its permanant because there is no real damage to the nerves.
    When we arrived to the rehab, the doctors came, checked her for many things, also sensations in different areas, external and internal. they said her situation looks promising. her CES looks temporary and they have a whole ward dedicated to learned to build your urine and rectum muscles.
    so she has a lot of work ahead of her, but at least we know she is in the right place.
    i will keep you updated :-)

    ps. and yes, not many people know about CES!
  • so happy to hear that she is now in rehab and will be getting the care she needs. Hopefully her progress will be speedy and she will be home in no time!

    Thinking of you and wishing all the best!
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