Hello. One month ago I hurt myself helping a friend move, and the MRI (thankfully) showed that there were only minor protrusion at L4-L5 and L5-S1 that two spine specialists said were nothing serious. However, ever since the injury I slowly began to realize that, while the pain wasn't that severe (some radiculopathy in the right leg that recently switched to the left, but seems to be getting slowly better), I hadn't been waking up with morning erections. Now, I can still get erections and ejaculate; I have a history of psychologically-induced ED when I'm in the sack, but it usually clears up once we get into it. In addition to the lack of morning erections, there seems to be some reduced sensitivity/sensation down there as well; it feels as if someone took my "genital sensitivity dial" and turned it from a 10 to a 6 or 7. My first thought was cauda equina syndrome (CES), but my physiatrist said that the lumbar MRI i took looked fine, and I wasn't at risk; the other spine surgeon looked at the MRI and said I'd be fine with physical therapy and perhaps some injections later on (although I didn't bring up CES with him). In light of all of this, I have a few questions that I'd appreciate some insight into if at all possible:
1) Can it they be missing cauda equina syndrome? My bowels and bladder are fine, I don't have the saddle loss of sensation, nor do I seem to have any other of the classic symptoms except the lack of morning wood and the reduced penis sensitivity/sensation. What, then, could be causing it? Just nerve irritation from L4-L5/L5-S1?
2) Could it be an issue with my sacrum? I know the cauda equina extends below L5 into all of the S points; my MRI was, if I'm not mistaken, only in the lower back. Is it possible that there's CES in the sacrum where the MRI didn't scan, or something else affecting the sacral plexus?
3) I also noticed last week (three weeks into the injury) that my left foot that went without pain began to tingle infrequently, but it wasn't too severe. However, yesterday, I started feeling pain in my left leg and left side of my lower back, with my right feeling MUCH better. It feels as if the radiculopathy has actually left my right leg and went to my left. While the pain last night was uncomfortable, it seems to have gotten better. Can that be a sign of something more serious?
Again, since the injury began to heal, all of the pain associated with it has never been severe; it's always been irritating and uncomfortable but nothing requiring any pain meds. There has never been any numbness or loss of motor control. I'll sometimes feel pain with the radiculopathy that will induce a feeling of being squeezed in my leg, but never enough to make my legs weak or buckle. The only place there seems to have been a reduction in sensitivity has been the groin, but again, I'm perfectly capable of achieving an erection and ejaculating, it just feels less sensitive and somewhat less pleasurable.
I know this was an information overload, but if anyone can address any of these concerns I'd be extraordinarily grateful. Thanks!