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Getting concerned

JennyfooJJennyfoo Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had an epidural steroid injection at L1-L2 on Tuesday. No, it does not seem to have helped in the least as of now. I thought perhaps on day 2-3, it was helping, but now, the pain and inflammation is even worse than before. My main concern is that I've not had a bowel movement since Monday night I think. highly irregular(pun intended) for me. I am on pain meds, but I take a stool softener daily and have not had a problem. Before the ESI, I was having problems with urgency with both bladder and bowel. Basically, I didn't know I had to go until I really had to go: not much warning. Now, it's been 5 days since I had a BM and I'm still having urinary urgency, even wet my pants last night on the way to the bathroom. This is so embarrasing to admit.

Mainly, I'm wondering if the ESI could have slowed things down(intestinal-wise), or if Cauda Equina is possible with damage in the T12-L2 area??? I have loss of feeling and radicular pain in my abdomen that feels like severe menstrual cramps or even bowel problems, have for nearly 3 months now, so I can't really tell if anything is going on down there.


  • boy youd think youd be doing better after shot not worse...i'm real sorry this has happened.i recall reading about one spiney who had ces from L2. i believe the spinal cord branches out at L1 and the cauda equina begins below that...to be on safe side tell your doc about these new symptoms. hopefully they are just temporary side effects from shot....take care...pete
  • Hi, After I had an epidural for my back pain I was barely able to make it to the bathroom (urinary, no bowel problem). I had to go 5 times the first night and barely made it each time. I also had a nerve block shot which worked better for the pain and the urinary problem was not as bad. The incontinence eventually eased up and I am now back to normal although I am going for my second nerve block this week so will probably have to deal with it again. Good luck and please let your doctor know your symptoms.
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  • I did call my Dr. This morning. Thank goodness he's out of town and his partner will consult, since my Dr. Has completely been ignoring me for weeks.

    The milk of magnesia did not work. I have extreme pressure built up at this point, it's uncomfortable to stand and sit. I feel like I have to go, keep trying, but nothing happens. I'm afraid that with the increased inflammation and pressure in my back since the ESI, that perhaps my spinal cord itself is being compressed. My herniation does go in toward the spinal cord andbin the thoracic region, there's little room for extra stuff. My legs have gotten horribly weak too and I've been having bouts of dizziness when I get up from sitting or lying. I've fallen back into bed twice, and caught myself on the bed post last nght so I didn't fall.
  • Try a Fleet's Enema. You can buy one at the drug store. Increase your fluid intake, eat more fiber, etc. If the enema doesn't work, I would again consult your surgeon for further advice.

    Take care,

  • My doctor repeatedly mentioned sudden incontinence as a serious problem (although if caused by spinal injection that might not count) and they always ask me if I have any weakness in my legs. One of my issues is severe stenosis which leaves little room for my spinal cord but I have been exercising 5-6 times a week which doesn't help with the pain really but makes me stronger and I feel better mentally (usually). I hope your doctor's partner is able to take the time to really listen to you.
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  • OMG! The on-call neuro looked at my MRI and chart notes, etc and apparently said, "it all looks pretty benign." per the med assistant. He won't see me. Pretty benign! If it were benign, why would my neuro order me to lie flat on my back for a month. Why would I have no feeling from bellybutton to mid thigh? Why would I have developed urinary and bowel problems? Why would I be having severe nerve/radicular pain in my abdomen? Why would my legs be wobbly and weak? Did it occur to them that perhaps things have deteriorated in the 2 months since I had the MRI? I certainly didn't have all these symptoms when I got the MRI. I only had back pain and muscle spasm at that point, none of the neurological symptoms! Aaauuuuggghh! I am so fed up with all of this!
  • Maybe you can sue them too? It seems they are all gonna get you so get them fist and show them they can't mess with you.
  • I really just want someone to actually HELP me. I called my primary dr and left her a MSG as to what's going on. I know my MRI results don't show anything major, but after the exam and finding neurological deficits and motor problems, my neuro told me to get ESIs and lay flat on my back for another month, which I did. Nothing has improved. I have an inflammatory arthritis disease, perhaps it's inflammation compressing nerve roots? MRI won't show that. MRI was not full back either. It's possible I could have another thoracic, perhaps the T10-11 that was bulging at last year's MRI that's herniated worse or something. Just speculating. My symptoms are NOT benign. I don't have a history of hypochondria or anything, so I have no idea why these specialists are not taking me seriously.

    After a third dose of Milk of magnesia, I finally got results. I've never had issues like this and you'd think that with my symptoms, the neuro would worry that the compression is interfering with my bowel and hladder muscles or something. That's what my primary dr. is worried about. Perhaps I can convince her to a FULL MRI of my back. I should at least talk to her by phone tomorrow.

    It's so frustrating and I'm just so tired of fighting to be heard, fighting to get the care I need. I don't feel like I've got any fight left in me right now.
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