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Chronic long term bowel constipation AFTER spinal fusion

Keano16Keano16 Posts: 92
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:49 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello.

A member of my family suffers from chronic long-term bowel constipation for past 9 month. It is the unwanted result of aggressive spinal surgery. However, modern medicine does not have answer for us and case is very strange because surgery was long away from any nerves or structures that innervate bowel. Nobody has answer: neurologists, orthopedists, neurosurgeons, internists, etc.

Some of them say "its body reaction", some of them say "medicine has no answer to that", some of them say its nerve damage.

We have tried laxatives, all home-made or natural products like certain juices, fruits, pills, etc. Nothing can get bowel out, except going to hospital to get it out.

I have a strong feeling that this is a body reaction to aggressive surgery. Some of my friend who are world renowned surgeons have have experienced this during their career, and sometimes it takes up to 2 years for body to regenerate or to restore function.

Does anyone have similar experience?

Does anyone know about some new method or medication for this kind of problem?

Thanks in advance!
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Comments

  • This is a problem that I have resolved that I must live with to be more comfortable. My understanding is that the longer it goes on the odds of it resolving on its own diminish. You can do a google search on Lazy Bowel Syndrome for more information. There are a lot of different causes for this problem. I feel for your family member and hope that new year brings them some relief.

    Dave
  • Not sure where you live buy by me there is a product called smooth move, and its a tea. You drink a couple cups of it and it seems to move things along quite nicely and its not a huge gas producer so there isnt much added pain from that. You might find this in the grocery store in the homeopathic remedy or herbal tea asile.

    Senna is another one but that by itself might produce a lot of gas and cause more discomfort while it works. Green veggies, fluids, and yogurt are all things I try to have plenty of after a surgery ( ive had 5, and recooperating from the 5th at the moment) I hope your issue isnt something that needs resolution or intervention by another doctor or procedure.

    Is the constipation from narcotic pain meds?


    Fused78
  • I am so sorry for your family member. I used to take a pinch of black draught - it was a powder - and chase it down with water as a child. I had the exact opposite problem after my surgery which made me feel as though I had a stomach virus of some sort (dehydrated) along with the post surgery feeling. Not to sound stupid but what does the hospital do? An enema? I just googled black draught - and there are some places you can order online. This is a very old timey laxative so maybe it will work. Traci
    Traci
  • I am so sorry for your family member. I used to take a pinch of black draught - it was a powder - and chase it down with water as a child. I had the exact opposite problem after my surgery which made me feel as though I had a stomach virus of some sort (dehydrated) along with the post surgery feeling. Not to sound stupid but what does the hospital do? An enema? I just googled black draught - and there are some places you can order online. This is a very old timey laxative so maybe it will work. Traci
    Traci
  • A nurse who herself had some constipation problems as a result of chemo for cancer recommended Cascara Root. Although it's herbal it's still "medicinal" and thus has to be treated as you would a medication (discussing it with the doctor, reading the label carefully, using only as prescribed, etc). The problem is becoming dependent on those kinds of meds to go. For me I eat 6 prunes a day, put benefiber in my drinks, and use Cascara Root maybe once a week. More rarely I use PruneLax which is a laxative that seems less harsh to the system.

    With 9 months of this I'm wondering if a consultation with a gastroenterologist can help. The GI who did my routine colonoscopy made a point of talking to me about the impact of the narcotic meds on my GI system. We talked about what I was doing, she offered to discuss it again if I ran into a problem, and said she sees this often in patients with other conditions not GI based (cancer, spine surgery, etc)
    Multiple ACDFs, Multiple Lumbar Fusions; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty
  • Hi and thanks on your replies. Natural remedies and laxatives are no help in cases likes this, but thanks for your involvement.

    @dave - Are you suffering from this problem?

    I have some good information about possible causes of this syndrome. One very experienced doctor of biology told me it can be caused by micro-lesion of Meissner plexus.

    Solution could be electro-stimulation of hypogatric plexus, and we will try that soon on my mother.

    All best in New year!!!
  • cgoodthingscgoodthings Posts: 2
    edited 11/20/2013 - 9:34 PM
    Hi, I have had this same exact problem for about a year now. I was told that during my third back surgery my nervous system was mistaking cut and that is why It is hard for me to get rid of waste. Non of these problems existed before surgery so it had to be something that happened during surgery. I also have other issues like, no sex life, numbness in my anal area, lost of the use of the right side of my body which have caused many falls and broken bones.
    A gastroenterologist said to me that Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, md is the only hospital that can treat this problem. It seems they have a chip that can be placed in the spinal cord making the problem better. This is a very debilitating problem to live with and we should not have to live this way all because a surgeon made a mistake on our bodies and nervous system!! It is just so wrong to live like this because of the mistakes of others
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