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  • tjmcgough
    Post count: 1


    I had successful spinal fusion surgery at Yale New Haven in 1999 to correct Spondylolisthesis slippage at L5-S1. I am 51 yrs old and live an active lifestyle (golf, softball, hiking, biking, exercise, etc) with no physical limitations while active.

    I have occasional low back pain (usually after excessive activity but not always the case) that seems to originate above my right hip, near L5-S1. It’s always tight in that area when I stretch. Aside from the low back pain, I have what I believe is a related symptom – frequent bladder pressure at night. I’m sure most will agree that this is typical ay my advancing age :) but I feel certain there is something else causing this pressure. I have had bladder and prostate tests done – all came back normal. The only relief (full rest) I get is when I take a muscle relaxer or other medication such as advil, ambien, chlonazepham, or similar. Most nights, I wake up every two hours, with an erection and pressure to urinate. When I relieve myself, only drops come out, erection gone, and the 2 hour cycle begins again.

    Worth noting – I sit on a train 2 hours a day and I sometimes have pain in the tailbone area, making it uncomfortable to sit. I get edgy and have to move around.

    Have been to a neurologist. Motor skills perfect, so he basically said “it is what it is, try pain management”.

    My hope is someone will point me in the right direction so I can once and for all find out what is causing the pain and bladder pressure and have some hope for a cure. My uneducated guesses range from pressure on nerve root (could be many causes) to tailbone fracture.

    Many thanks in advance for your reply.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8459

    Your symptoms could be from a number of sources. The bladder problems can rarely occur from the spine but that would be unusual. There is the chance you have arachnoiditis from your original disorder or from the surgery. An MRI of your lumbar spine would help to diagnose the presence or absence of intra-canal problems that could cause your bladder symptoms. (See website)

    The pain in your sacroiliac region could be from a lack of solid fusion from the prior surgery (pseudoarthrosis), compression of a nerve root, chronic radiculopathy (see website) or even originate from the sacroiliac joint itself (sacroiliac instability). A thorough work-up of your spine could reveal the source of these problems.

    By the way- “tailbones” (the coccyx) rarely fracture. These bony segments are connected by ligaments and even though these ligaments can be injured (coccydynia), this is a rare condition.

    Dr. Corenman

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