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Test shows spinal cord injury, unable to defecate without the use of enemas. Related?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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My question is an anotomical in naure. My profile shows my spinal cord injury. I want to know what part of my colon is broken when I am unable to deficate without the use of enemas?
Posted Fri, 5 Jul 2013 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 56 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

What kind of spinal cord injury do you have? And on what level?

You need to know that spine nerves fibers connections are very complicated. Fibers can cross and connect on many levels of spinal cord for many times. So it is very hard to determine exactly which level of large intestine is affected by the injury.
If the injury is high enough (like thoracic part), whole large intestine nerves will be inactive. If the injury is in coccyx area, left part of large intestine will be affected (see the picture WWW.WWWW.WW . Depending of how deep into spinal cord the trauma penetrates, there might be even problems with holding the stool as well.

You need to also know that large intestine has its own nerves. This allows the stool to passage, however this function is weaker what causes longer stool passage and constipation.
And constipation can be caused by any part of large intestine problem, however it is more probable with the left side colon issue (rectum, sigmoid colon, descending colon).

Hope this will answer your question.
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Follow-up: Test shows spinal cord injury, unable to defecate without the use of enemas. Related? 20 hours later
I'm confused. I'm under the impression that my profile contains my medical history. For me to type all of my medical issues for every question is cumbersome.

Nevertheless I'm a C3 to C7 incomplete. I'm educated about what such an injury incurs.

I was in hopes my symptom question would lead to an anatomical answer.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 36 hours later
I`m sorry but there is no data in your profile about your medical history. I`m unable to see anything.

If it is about the anatomy, please note that spinal cord is so complicated that probably no human will ever be able to solve this puzzles. We have some knoledge about spinal cord areas responsible for some function. But this knowledge is only sketchy. Its because millions of nerves fibers are crossing each other, connecting, creating plexuses. This is so complicated that no one is able to tell you which nerves were exactly injured at your case and which part of the intestine has been affected.

Moreover, nerves has ability to regenerate (this is also unknown for us process). Some nerves can be replaced by other, etc. So it is impossible to give you exact anatomical answer. There is no single nerve responsible for colon function.

So i`m sorry but exact anatomical region can not be established.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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