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Old 02-04-2005, 11:40 AM   #1
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JyLiss HB User
Unhappy Post-back surgery bowel problems

I had anterior/posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation this past September. I was extremely constipated in the hospital and finally got someone to manually disimpact me, which was followed by two incidents of movements just falling out of me because of all the laxatives they had been giving me. My bum was completely numb and once home it took a while to get unconstipated again and have a 'normal' bowel movement. I still have a lot of numbness around the anus. Needless to say, I now have external hemorrhoids. The last few weeks the movements come out in small roundish pieces at a time and I have to push on my bum near the anus to get them to come out most of the time. It's as though they aren't big enough for me to be able to push out. I don't really feel an urge to go. I feel the movement collect at the anus and that's my cue. This happens 2 to 3x/day. I take benefiber 2x/day and colace 3x/day. I've been trying to do Kegel exercises for the anus muscle whenever I think of it. Anyone have any experience with this?

 
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:20 PM   #2
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leeanne172 HB User
Re: Post-back surgery bowel problems

Wow you sound just like me !!

I had back surgery in 2000, disk removed and ended up with perm numbness in my backside and down the back of the right leg .. have not been able to have regular bowel movements since. I do have bowel movements now but they are hard and small. I drink 2 liters of water each day which doesn't help and I also eat a lot of fruit and veggies which doesn't do much either I just started putting flaxseed into my diet so I hope that does helps. I wish I could tell you how to fix it but I can't really, I take laxitives about every 2 weeks or when needed and do an enima (sp) once a month .. it's what works for me

Last edited by leeanne172; 02-06-2005 at 04:21 PM.

 
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Old 02-07-2005, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: Post-back surgery bowel problems

Hi Leeanne172,

I'm sorry to hear you have these problems too. It really rots. If you take Colace it will soften the stool and maybe allow you to go more often. What did your surgeon have to say about it? Did you see a neurologist? My surgeon is talking about doing a myleogram if things don't improve. Part of my butt is numb, as well as my front right thigh and other privates.

 
Old 02-07-2005, 12:19 PM   #4
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leeanne172 HB User
Re: Post-back surgery bowel problems

Hi JyLiss

I was told I have some bowel damage due to the fact that I hadn't been to the washroom (bowel movement) for over a month during my surgery time .. it's a long long story but in a nutshell I told the Dr's something was wrong with my back (I did injure it, part of the long story .. lol), I couldn't stand, lie down, was in constant pain and stopped having bowel movements, they wrote it off as a pinched nerve .. finally got someone to listen just to find the disk in my back was blocking the bowel completely and I needed emergency surgery. Because of the numbness I still couldn't go to the washroom as I had zero feeling, ended up at the hospital 2 more times to help that along but finally things got better. Some months are better then others, I can go everyday for a month then go through the constipation thing again .. been like this now for almost 5 years and honestly I can't remember what it was like before this *sigh*

 
Old 02-07-2005, 05:32 PM   #5
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Jelohi HB User
Re: Post-back surgery bowel problems

The same thing happened to me after my C-section. It's like it got all stretched out in there from the post-surgery constipation. I asked my OB-Gyn about it & she said there wasn't really anything that could be done. It's not drastic enough to get surgery (that would probably make things worse!).

TMI tip coming up if you are female: (I can't believe I'm gonna post this, but) you might be able to help push it out by sticking a thumb in your vagina and pushing down. I asked my OB-Gyn if I could hurt myself by doing this & she thought getting impacted would probably be worse.

I would like to hear from others that have been through this if it ever goes back to normal. It's been 18 months for me.

 
Old 02-07-2005, 07:03 PM   #6
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leeanne172 HB User
Re: Post-back surgery bowel problems

Like I said in my above post I had my back surgery in April of 2000 and I have been the same since, I was also told there was not much they could do except give me stool softeners and blah blah blah. It is truly frustrating (no real pun intended there) but something else to live with. I have found that eating a cup of raisin bran WITH a half cup of all bran can do wonders but I don't do that anymore because I have changed my diet, I just recently (yesterday) started eating raw oatmeal with a half cup of flaxseed .. will see if that helps or not.

 
Old 02-08-2005, 12:14 PM   #7
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JyLiss HB User
Re: Post-back surgery bowel problems

Did either of you have a myleogram because of the bowel problems and numbness? Did you see a gastroenterologist or neurologist at all or are you just listening to your surgeons? I heard there's a neurologist at Mt. Sinai who has a lot of success with these post surgical problems. I can't believe we have to live the rest of our lives this way. Do you have external hemorrhoids too and, if so, what do you do about them?

Last edited by JyLiss; 02-08-2005 at 12:15 PM. Reason: icon showed up as long text line

 
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