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10 days post-TLIF (bladder problems)

Keano16KKeano16 Posts: 89
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am 10 days post TLIF and I have bladder problems.

Urine flow is very slow and I can hardly start urinating. This not occured immediately after surgery, but 5-6 days after the surgery. So, I have this strange problem for past 3-4 days.

I was chatetered for first 2 days, and my problems started 5-6 after surgery.

Any advices?

I've found similar problem here:
But Sharon did not get back to us and told her outcome.


  • I must note that I saw neurologist hour ago, I don't have elements of cauda equina syndrome.
    My surgeon told me to consult urologist.

    Reading some PDF articles about fusion, I saw this problem is often and it usually goes away itself?

  • Can cause those symptoms too, esp. at high doses that your body wasn't used to before.
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  • I was in hospital for 19 days, under a lot of pain meds... Hopefully this could be the cause
  • could be-my first fusion I was in the hospital 11 days,and I had a hard time-the less pain meds and more exercise hopefully will help-but don't be miserable,let the dr. know!
  • I had an ACDF last Friday (3/12/2010) and I had a similar occurrence. I could not get any urine to come out no matter how much I tried. Finally, I had to get a temporary catheter in me to release the urine. I had 1,150 mL of urine backed up.

    Later overnight with the IV still filling me up, it started backing up again. Instead of getting another catheterization at 4 AM, What I finally found that worked for me was to relax all my muscles in my bladder/bowel region. With all the meds in me, this is quite difficult to concentrate on doing. It is also contrary to how I expected it to work.

    After being released from the hospital, I still had to use this same technique to get my bladder to function. The one thing about this method is my bladder never felt fully emptied. If after starting the flow of urine I then tried to push the remaining urine out, it would all stop.

    Note: this is my own personal experience offered for information only.
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  • Thanks on your experiences! Looking forward to some others also.
  • Catheterization can be very irritating to the urethra. I would advise drinking acidic juice such as cranberry juice, as well as other fluids. Putting some pressure on your lower abdomen while voiding should help as well. This should clear up, but if you develop pain, pressure and inability to urinate, signs of infection, you should contact your physician.

    Best wishes,

  • Yes, pain meds, especially benzo's like valium can cause(I'm assuming you are male?) prostrate spasms/urethral spasms. You could also have an infection so if no one has done a urinalysis and culture yet, I think I'd insist on one. Marianne also gave good advice on drinking lots of fluids like cranberry juice.

    If it is muscular, you might try getting a glass of water and blow air into it with a straw-just like a kid blowing bubbles into a glass of milk. Do this while sitting on toilet and trying to urinate. This is true advice here! Stop laughing! :) Often women have trouble immediately after childbirth because their muscles are stretched and doing this helps them urinate.

    Do you feel like you still retain urine after you go? One thing a urologist might do is have you urinate, then use a very simple ultrasound scan your bladder to measure if you have any and how much residual urine left or cath you after you void.

    I do think you should consult a doctor about this, at least just to rule out infection, even if it is your primary care doc. Not that your surgeon is a bad guy/girl, but often they only stick to the surgery and any side effects get turfed to others. This is my opinion, tho. I really would consult your doc. Please update!
  • Its a female case! I have an infection for a long time (e. coli) but this never caused this problems, this is why I connected this to my surgery.

    I will try cranberry juice, also your advice with water and a straw.

    Yes, when I am done urinating, I feel there is some left.

    I saw neurologist last night, he told to consult urologist. My neurosurgeon also confirmed.

    Only strange is that this happened few days after spinal surgery.

  • Another thing you can do after you've passed water is to stand up momentarily and then sit down again and see if any more will come away, and even do this a couple more times. When I was in the hospital, I wasn't emptying my bladder completely and that's what the nurses told me to do, and it helped. They said that by standing up, the bladder returned to its natural position again. I still do this when I feel there is more to come away.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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