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Cauda Equina

guy1577gguy1577 Posts: 1
Hi, I am new to the site and new to Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES). On 07/15/15 I met with a surgeon to discuss options for a L4/L5 left side herniation and L1/L2 central heniation. The L1/L2 was older and did not seem to change since an MRI I had in 2010. The surgeon and I made a decision to have a microdiscectomy at L4/L5. I had been dealing with lower back pain for years and numbness began about 2 years ago. I also had left side hip pain. My symptoms included left leg, foot, and toe pain and numbness after standing or walking for 10 minutes. The doctor told me that his scheduler would call me by the next week to set up physical and surgery date.

My family and I were moving this week, so I was lifting furniture and putting a lot of stress on my back. On Saturday, 07/18/15 my family and I went to an amusement park. I rode several roller coasters and at about 4:00pm I had pain in my lower abdomen. At this time I was unsure what this pain was coming from. I went to the restroom and realized that I was unable to completely empty my bladder. I had the urge to go, but I just could not get all of the urine out. I then realized that the pain I was experiencing was from a full bladder. However, I did not know that it was from my back issues at this time. I told my wife and shortly after we left the park and went home.

After getting home and doing a little research, I read about Cauda Equina Syndrome and hoped that this was not what I was experiencing. I decided to wait until the morning to see if I would be able to urinate properly. I woke up at 4:00am with a lot of pain from a full bladder. I tried to go back to the restroom, but only a small amount was able to come out. I woke my wife and off to the ER we went.

They quickly diagnosed me with CES. I was catheterized and sent to a larger hospital where the Neurosurgeon that I saw the previous week operated. On Sunday, 07/19/15, I had emergency surgery on both my L4/L5 and L1/L2 herniations. I awoke from surgery with numbness on my entire left leg, foot, and toes. I also have new numbness on the right side of my Penis, scrotum, and right side of my perineal area. I am unsure how this will effect sex, as I am not healthy for sex yet being that surgery is so recent. Later the next day the catheter was removed to see if I would be able to urinate on my own. I thank my lucky stars that I am able to urinate w/o catheterization at this time. However, I do have to push and strain, and I am requiring laxatives to have a bowel movement.

The doctor is telling me that he hopes that after all of the inflammation and swelling goes down that the numbness will go away. Along with the numbness there is new pain in my upper hips and thighs. This pain is worse than any pain I had prior to surgery. I dropped to the floor today. It almost feels like electric shocks that travel down the front of my legs to my toes.

Anyway, this is my story. It is just beginning and I feel like I have a long way to go. I just hope I will be able to afford being out of work. I am 38 years old and I worry that I will have a difficult time obtaining SSDI if this becomes a need. I look forward to reading any comments or pointers to help me through this. Thanks in advance!

Link removed ....spine-health moderator


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  • chrisloveslifecchrisloveslife Posts: 2
    edited 12/22/2015 - 8:49 PM
    I can sympathize with you on this one. I had 3 massive herniations that left me with cauda equina syndrome. I had laminectomies at L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 back in mid April. I also get the electric shock feeling (mostly when I'm lying in bed at night) and it makes it difficult to sleep. Plus I now have a drop foot and need a brace and cane to walk.
    I don't know what advice to give you other than to try to be patient and work hard at therapy. My numbness is slowly starting to ebb away. Stay positive!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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