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L5-S1 severe herniation

phoover1982pphoover1982 Posts: 1
edited 07/06/2015 - 12:08 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My husband is the one with the herniated disc, and I am just wanting to find out from others what their experiences are. And to see if anyone has had the same issues. He is currently in the hospital. I took him to the er Friday night and they transferred him to a hospital about an hour away. They first said they wanted to try high doses of steroids and do steroid injections. Well his urinary incontinence became worse. He literally can't tell when he needs to go and as soon as he stands up he is peeing. He can't control it. He has burning pain in his left leg, and numbness. The numbness has now moved to his right leg down to his knee and his privates are numb. So the head neurosurgeon decided last night he needed surgery because steroids would not help. It was supposed to be tomorrow morning but got postponed to hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday. We are just becoming worried that if they keep waiting then he will have permanent damage. They already told him last night that they don't know if the numbness will go away after surgery or not. I'm just at a loss of what to do. I would think it would be an emergency but yet they don't seem to be moving too quickly. Tia for any help.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • those symptoms sound like cauda equina syndrome - which is a medical emergency and needs swift surgery. i've read some articles where they say even hospital staff aren't as well versed in it's emergency status as they should be - which is scary. the loss of bladder control is a major red flag - they should be acting fast.
    1994 - herniated disc l4/l5 l5/s1 - sciatica - l4/l5 discectomy
    2011 - l4/l5/ l5/s1 herniated disc/scar tissue - sciatica - discectomy
    now - recurrent disc protrusion l5/s1, lots of back pain, considering fusion/adr

  • I agree with rocker2000....this has always been explained to me as a true medical emergency, possibly with only hours to correct. I would be VERY proactive on his behalf and do any and all research you can on "Cauda Equina" syndrome and be prepared to fight to push up a surgery time.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
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