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Back pain, chronic diarrhea. Diagnosed with T-12 stenosis, spinal cord injury. Done MRI, ultrasound and blood test. Suggestions?

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I have a long-term complete T-1 spinal cord injury. (since 1978). I have been diagnosed with T-12 stenosis, have had on and off again chronic diarrhea and loose stools for 2 years and am now getting mid-back pain radiating toward my lower left side. My colon has become dystended on the left side a couple of years ago as well. I have had an MRI, ultrasound, blood work and a colonoscopy to try to figure out the diarrhea. Nothing remarkable. I have had a quezzy stomach on an off for a few months as well.
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 19 hours later

Thanks for the query,

Regarding on and off loose stools, most common cause is 'primary bowel problem' rather than cord. If the injury is above T12, it can cause more of constipation and if below more of incontinence and loose stools. But on and off diarrhoea is uncommon. However colonscopy has ruled out causes of bowel obstruction.

Back pain radiating to the left lower side indicates probable involvement of the L5-S1 radicles due to spondylosis. Usually isolated T12 stenosis does not produce such symptoms.

So over all, I feel the problem is not restricted to T12, but more extensive producing lumbar canal stenosis.

So the bottom line is that you need an appointment with either a spine surgeon or Neurosurgeon for lumbar canal stenosis and if severe requires decompression of the spine as you are symptomatic.

I thank you again for the query and hope my response has served to be helpful and informative. If there are any additional concerns please let me know.

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