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Urinary Urgency with Disc Issues

I injured by back when I was 18 years old while deadlifting. Completed a lumbar MRI in 2002 where it showed degeneration of my L5-S1 disc. After 11 years, I am starting to have multiple issues with my back. I am scheduled for another lumbar MRI next week but have had a cervical/thoracic MRI since. It shows narrowing of my spinal canal in the cervical region with a disc herniation at C6-C7 and slight bulge at T8-T9.

To make a long story short, I had been doing fine until last June where I had a sudden onset of feeling like I lost bladder control and urinated on myself. Although I never fully lost function, I certainly felt like I had. I have since had the same issues but less severe, where I have intermittent bladder spasms and then have to run to the bathroom to urinate.

What does this mean? Is this permanent? And can it get worse?

I have seen a Neurologist who can not explain my symptoms and wants to place me on all kinds of medications. They have ruled out Multiple Sclerosis. I am currently working and am limited to what medications I can take. I am a registered nurse and can't take medications that would hinder me. I am really sensitive to strong anti-inflammatory meds like Etodolac or Flexeril and Norco. These all make me very sleepy. I had a Toradol shot when I was having severe pain and fell asleep for 6-8 hours.

I can not sleep on more that one pillow that has to be mostly flat. I constantly lift at work with patients and am required to do certain procedures for extended periods of time. I am constantly on my feet.

What should I expect with these symptoms? Can anyone help?



  • bladder issues can be a sign of equina cauda syndrome. This is a severe issue that needs immediate treatment (so if you are unable to control your bladder I'd go directly to the ER). Now I am assuming that your doctor has ruled this out since he has ordered an MRI and hasn't sent you to the ER. I know getting short notice on urination is different from total loss of control. As long as you don't have total loss of control, I'd call the surgeon's office ASAP, as in 8:00am tomorrow and let them know about the bladder issues and see that they have to say.

    Also I'll say that the tordol is a "kissing cousin" as we say to ibuprofen, same type/class of anti-imflammatories. Perhaps you slept so much because you were finally getting some pain relief and you were exahuasted. I would bring up to my primary how much relief it gave me and see if he/she might would give you another to help with pain until you get to the spine specialist. (and I'm assuing you've been checked for UTIs/bladder infections/kidney infections right? if not this is something I'd as mmy primary about tomorrow as well)
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • gessfin13ggessfin13 Posts: 2
    edited 03/11/2013 - 8:02 PM
    I have been having this issue since June of 2012, as far as the urinary urgency. I nada appointment today with a spine specialist where she ordered a UA/UC. So I am not thinking it is a urine infection. I called my PCP and he said, "If you didn't actually lose control then it's not a problem." Ironically, I have had an MRI of by brain and cervical/thoracic spine. This is the last MRI ordered. The only symptom I have his urinary urgency.
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