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  • Shonuff
    Post count: 1


    I’ve been really struggling for the past three months since this all started. I had back surgery (l5 s1) about six years ago. Reinjured my back this June just doing too much at once. Initially I had an appointment with my prior surgeon just to check in as I had back pain For about a week or so and had an aching feeling in my leg. But the weekend before my appointment, I was sitting down and realized I had completely emptied my bladder without knowing. Because I had always heard this could constitute an emergency, I rushed to The ER and they scanned me in the MRI- I was fully expecting needing emergency surgery but to my surprise they said I only had a small disc protrusion at the l5 s1 and not compressing my cauda equina nerves.

    I was relieved but then later that week started having saddle area numbness. I continued to have random urinate leakage but nothing like the first incident. I was scared of course and actually headed back to the ER and again they did a lumbar scan and said nothing had changed. My surgeon reviewed these scans and agreed no surgery was needed.

    Over the past three months I continue to have urinary leakage, frequency, need to get up at night to urinate, increased leg pain, intermittent saddle numbness, and am very afraid. I’m 37 and was very active before this and also have to take care of a four year old by myself. It got very stressful for me and I finally took a medical leave from work last month. I also feel like my balance is off.

    I’ve now had four lumbar scans, a sacral exam, thoracic, cervical, and brain. I’ve gone to two neurosurgeons, an orthopedic surgeon, three neurologists, had EMG and NCV done- and nobody has recommended surgery. I had a urological work up which found an overactive detrusor which “seems odd in a 37 year old “ ie the doctor told me it’s likely neurological issues with my spine. But she’s a urologist – not a spine doctor.

    I went to the ER last night because my leg pain has been getting worse. Again, a lumbar scan and told it’s just a small l5 s1 protrusion touching my s1 nerve but no compression.

    I don’t know what to do because now I am told just to treat the symptoms. I’m depressed, anxious, in pain, and struggling. By all my research these symptoms are of CeS and I can’t find any other explanation. I don’t want to get worse and worse and I fear that I am. They want to give me an epidural shot but given my symptoms I’m just shocked.

    Any ideas? The doctors don’t call my scans normal but have said I do not have CeS, yet can’t explain my symptoms. I live in Los Angeles and am seeing some of the best hospitals and doctors to my knowledge. Do I trust them or do I keep fighting for my health? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills and it’s making me feel subhuman. I really don’t think I can take this torture for more weeks on end.

    Really sorry for long rant but I cry multiple times a day and have sunk into deep depression over this. Thanks in advance for any insight!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8660

    Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a specific problem from compression of the nerves below the L1 level. You have some symptoms of CES without evidence of compression which makes this a possible neuropathy (malfunction of the cauda equina without mechanical compression). Neuropathies are difficult to treat.

    You might try first a short course of PO steroids to look for some resolution. If some results from that medication, an epidural steroid injection at L5-S1 to reduce inflammation might be in order.

    Dr. Corenman

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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