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8 month post-op. numb/ loss motor function

Dwoodsy85DDwoodsy85 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey folks,
Im 25 y.o. male who had decompression surgery on L3-L4 just over 8 months ago. They also found a small fracture in the superior facet of L4 which the piece was removed.
After surgery I felt great. No pain/ numbness anything....... Throughout the night the hospital staff kept instructing me to empty my bladder which I could not and began trying to force it out. after hours passed numbness started setting in on both my legs.

I kept trying to tell someone something was wrong, but was told it was normal and will go away. Well I was released and went home and the next day was back in ER with a bladder at 1000cc and incontinence. Sent back for an MRI and came out to the biggest scare of my life when neither leg would move when I tried. After being rolled onto my side I was able to slowly begin moving them again. Result was an epidural hematoma, and back to surgery I went. After the 2nd surgery my right leg had no further problems, but to this day I have numbness in the entire posterior portion of my left leg/ genitals/ anus, and loss of motor function to the left gastrocnemius, biceps femoris, and anus which makes using the restroom a big chore.

The surgeons office keeps telling me to wait 1-2 years! I keep trying to tell them the numbness severity changes with certain activities and also get some odd feelings as if someone where snapping a rubber band on the numb portions over and over. I was sitting down one day and when I got up my entire left leg had gone numb and I couldn't walk for about 10 minutes. That was 4-5 months post op. They want to do an EMG to test my muscle responses and said because I have "no pain" they arent going to do an MRI because if something was still in the spinal canal rubbing the nerves I would have pain. She keeps attributing it to "flattened nerves" in the cauda equina from the hematoma.

I am no doctor, but does this doesnt make sense to me.... How about any of you?
Im sorry its so long, but i've run out of places to look for answers.

Read more: Back Pain Forum - numbness after back surgery ? http://ehealthforum.com/health/numbness-after-back-surgery-t276866.html#ixzz1JLpBTICF


  • im having somthing close to what you are but i want no nothing till thursday 14 2011,
    i hurt my back 2 years ago on the job.

    and my foreman didnt make a report of it so i had a time get treatment,had to go to court and whole nine yards,which i my primary doctor got it approved for my surgery,so i had it alif l4-l5 and i also got doctors apinion on my back,which might be a good idea for you since there no listen to what's going on
    which you know better then anyone.
    here's what my findings was L5-s1 is a transitional vertebra and partly fused with sacrum on the right.
    L4-L5 postrusion.endplate osteophytes and bilateral facet osteoarthritis,moderate stenosis of the central canal to ap diameter of 7 mm.<<which had alif

    now 7 to 8 months ago i started having a lot presure feeling on my bladder and when going to bed im up all night going to bathroom 7 to 8 times,now if i lay flat my back i dont have this feeling,roll over to either side and its instantly have the feeling of going to bathroom,have you had any these problems.ty
  • Sorry to hear of all your post op issues. I had ALIF L 4/5 7.5 months ago and am still in all sorts of pain!

    I too had a lot of bladder issues post op and I can tell you what helped me. Bio Feedback Therapy & electric muscle stim, pelvic floor & wall rehab. This wasn't very pleasant but after about a dozen treatments I no longer have retention issues. I still have nocturnal frequency issues but not nearly as bad as previously. I am off bladder meds and have not needed to be catherized since January.

    I highly recommend you speak with a urologist.

    Best of luck to you!

  • I have tried to see another doctor but due to insurance issues I can only deal with their office. I just dont understand the reasoning for nor wanting to do an MRI just to be absolutely sure there is no obstruction still present. It really just seems like I am being toyed with as all they ever want to say is just wait.

    I had a ton of bladder and bowl incontinence as well. You already know how bad that stuff is. The bladder issues have mostly resolved, but the other not so much.

    It just gets under my skin every time I think that I tried dozens of times in the hospital to tell everyone that something was wrong and no one would take it seriously. All they did was severely drug me up and wheel me out which I then ended up right back there less then 48 hours later in O.R.
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