Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
129 Doctors are Online

Had a lumbar spinal fusion, back pain, numbness. Has spondylolisthesis. Why are bowels sluggish? Take nerve block injections?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 65 Questions
Hi i am a 35 year old female i had lumbar spinal fusion in Sep 2011 for ongoing back pain and numbness to leg bilaterally i had spondylolisthesis of l4, l5 and s1. In 2006 i had a microdisectomy and from then i had conservate management of facet joint injections and physiotherapy and analegisa but my smyptoms became more debilating and i opted for surgery. Anyway my problems got worse in ways since i had the fusion. I had to return to hospital after the fusion and have further surgery to remove l5 screw as it was too close to nerves and had been causing extreme pain, but i also developed infections and had to be treated for 6 weeks with intravenous antibotics. I was unable to urinate post surgery and as a result i still have to continue to self catherise. My bowels are also very sluggish and unless i take laxitives they will not work, even when i go i never feel like i've completely emptied. I have spoke with the urology consultant and in his opinion it is unlikely that my bladder function will improve - i have a neurogenic bladder.
I continue to have pain and will be having nerve block injections at the end of April, I'm just wondering in your opinion is there anything else i can do to possible improve my experience
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Stroke
Answered by Dr. Shivakumar S. Kupanur 12 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

I have gone through your history and I feel sorry for the suffering you are going through.

There are some adverse events happened during management. Neurogenic bladder is developed due to nerve injury, might be due to pedicle screws. I have seen patients improving from neurogenic bladder, though it takes longer time. You need not to lose your hopes. Continue intermittent catheterization. You can lead a quality life with little back discomfort over a period of time.

Regarding your back pain, your updated MRI will help me to suggest you better. If there is no nerve compression and spine is aligned, conservative management is sufficient. If there is never compression or bone infection, we may need to treat it aggressively. Local injection can be tried whenever pain is severe. Continue good physiotherapy.

If you provide me pre-op and post-op MRI images, I can suggest you better on that.

I hope I have answered your query. I wish you pain-free comfortable life soon. I will be available for follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Medical Procedures

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Neurologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor