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what should I do?

djordan391ddjordan391 Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello all,

well, I've been waiting and hoping that my back would start to feel better on it's own with rest and meds but so far no good! The pain is the same and the numbness is worse in my foot,ankle,and calf. I actually fell down right after getting out of bed in the morning because my knee was totaly numb....wierd!? I know that I re-herniated L5-S1 after surgery in December and it is pushing on the right nerve root but I was going to try to wait to have surgery again untill my kids are out of school for the summer in May but I don't know if I should wait that long. I have herd of people have issues with bowel and bladder, with disc herniation and I really have not had any of those symtoms. But sometimes,and this sounds wierd, I have a hard time getting "pee" to come out!? I sit there and wait forever sometimes...and then sometimes I feel like a gotta "pee" NOW! Like a very intence feeling like I could pee my pants. I wonder if that is that thing you hear about with herniations in the lumbar spine. So, what do you all think? Should I do the procedure or wait and what is up with my bladder? Do you all think it is due to my herniations? Please Help me!



  • The condition you are referring to is called Cauda Equin syndrome. AS far as your bladder is concerned my personal feeling is you need to take this up with your primary care doctor, which can test for other conditions and then if they don't know refer you to a urologist for more testing. I had issues with my bladder in that I couldn't go at all. In place of assuming it went to my spine, I did those steps and all the testing, and then was told to call my spine surgeon. First question they asked was have you had a full urological work-up?

    AS far as when to have the surgery or not only you can decide when that would need to be done. I would suggest that you get slated on a surgery schedule and have it all approved through your insurance company if you were looking at a sometime after May, as that is not that far off. If you did the urological workup and it was deemed a spinal nerve was causing the issue, then of course surgery would need to be done now. Typical patients with that issue either can't relieve themselves and are self cathing(as I do) or they have lost complete control over their bowels or bladder. Either way that surgery becomes a emergency. Now if the surgery is not a emergency, and your kids are going to be home to help you and it takes less pressure on you and makes the recovery more smoother I would try to wait. When your in the recovery stage you want it to go as smooth as possible so you give yourself the best chance of a good recovery and don't have to repeat this. Deciding on when to do surgery and what is right for you is such a personal decision, it is hard for anyone to say when you should have it or not. But whatever choice you make just know that all the members will be here to support you in your recovery. Keep us posted on what you decide.
  • MY 2 cents . The neurosurgeon . told me the longer you wait . the more damage the nerve gets.

    please take this stuff seriously .

  • I can really relate to everything you are going through. My spondy was causing a weak right leg and "dropped foot syndrome", which last December caused me to fall down the stairs when my leg gave out suddenly.

    When I finally got the courage to go see a doctor again about my back, he was pretty worried because once you have nerve involvement it is "very serious" and "needs to be dealt with". Non-surgical alternatives were not even an option for me because of the nerve involvement issue.

    Timing is a tough one, and I can completely relate to having kids and trying to figure all that schedule stuff out. For me, I wanted to make sure I was more functional once school was out and that way I could be there better for the kids during the summer, so I scheduled the surgery as soon as I could once the surgeon showed me how much weaker my right leg and foot was. I'm hoping that by doing it when I did (March 23), I will be better enough by summer to not too drastically effect my kids fun time.

    I don't know about the bladder. Before the surgery, I was peeing constantly. It felt like I went pee 30 times a day (it was like being pregnant again!), but never very much at a time. Post surgery, that has improved a lot and I feel like I pee much more like a normal person again. Hooray for small miracles huh :)

    These are all really tough decisions. I agree wholeheartedly with tamtam and firsttime that nerve involvement raises the level of seriousness pretty dramatically and that only you in combination with your doctors can make the right decision for your life situation.

    I wish you all the best :)
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