I had a TLIF performed at L-5/S1 10/09. During the surgery, an arthritic fecet joint was removed, a herniated disc repaired and a single level fusion completed. Although minimally invasive, which saved muscle, minimized the traumatic surigical damage as well as the size of the incision, recovery has been very slow and extremely difficult. I had horrible spasms for a week after surgery and was in the hospital 4 days followed by inpatient rehab for 2 weeks. Now, 2+ months post op and I am only able to do a fraction of ďnormalĒ activity. I now have sensation loss in certain areas on one of my hips and on my back and significant bladder incontinence problems. I had a follow up recently. Spine bone growth is evident which is encouraging (have to wait longer for actual fusion). My doctor asked that I stay off work for 1 more month. I am extremely concerned about the incontinence issue, as I thought it would be showing definite signs of improvement by now. I am told to be patient and wait and see for up to a year. At this stage of the game, are the odds for or against full recovery of bladder control? I realize nerves take time to regenerate but I am fearing permanent impairment. I have scoured the web and canít find any substantive articles or studies on this subject specifically. Also, will improvement in movement and endurance start to accelerate at a quicker pace after 3 months (assuming fusion begins to take well)? I am really not getting any answers from my doctorís nurse and my surgeon hasnít personally talked to me since surgery which I really donít appreciate. I donít want to monopolize his time but not so much as one meeting since surgery, always pushed off on his nurse. The nurse is vague, making my concerns seem premature and just keeps emphasizing it is going to take up to a year to heal.
Hi I had back surgery March 2008. I am now plagued with bladder spasms. My surgeon didn't respond to my question if they were related to the surgery. A visit to an urologist didn't confirm anything. I am going to see another orthpedic dr as soon as I get over this cold.
My bladder has developed diminished sensation (a numbed feeling) with leakage upon standing and walking especially after lying down or sleeping for an extended time. Drugs do help but not enough at times. Periods, muscle stretching,and possibly weather, seem to aggrevate things.The spasms I experienced after surgery were in my back and legs.
Last edited by jinglepaws; 01-03-2010 at 12:08 AM.
I'd definitely suggest you see a Urogynecologist. I had bladder nerve damage 11yrs ago after a uterine rupture with my younger son and lost the sensation to 'go'.. the nerve connection from bladder to brain. I wore a bladder cath for a few months, then learned to self-catheterize (hated it) for about 6,7 months, then became aware of the 'other' sensations (abdominal pressure) that let me know my bladder was full (and had to get to a bathroom pronto if I wanted to avoid leaking or a full blown accident). Later, I had addidtional bladder damage from my cord compression and, that, too, is permanent. I now leak for other reasons that don't seem to have 'other' sensations for me to learn to adapt to. I've done bladder retraining, meds, and such, and am suppose to go in soon for bladder 'zapping' (as I call it --where they use electrical stimulation on my urethra about once a week for a period of time, to try to redirect its signals or something.. I'm not sure.. not looking forward to it). There are tests the Urogyno can do to find out your exact problem, then figure out what may help it (may). There are also procedures that can be done to rework things, if you are a candidate (I'm not... or so I"m told). There may be help and it may be relatively simple.. might be more involved, but a Urogyno would be the one to see for this. I waited too long with my secondary damage.. kept thinking it was related to the initial damage from my rupture. It wasn't and by the time my spine damage was found to be the cause, it had been yrs and mine is not likely reversible. Yours being so recent.. your odds are much better.
i appreciate you sharing your experiences. The severity of the problem is influx right now. Some days (with drugs) are almost normal and others are bad even with the drugs. This being the case, I am going to wait for my February follow up and see if things are improved at all. I am going to put my foot down and demand that I get to talk with the surgeon and no one else. He is going to talk to me or I will rescfhedule until he can. If things haven't changed, I will ask for a urology referral. I talked with a good friend of mine yesterday who had similar issues and she got function back in about two years. Not good but gives me hope that my problems aren't permanent. 2 years of this sucks. But if I know, given time, I will get it back, I can be patient.
I strongly suggest looking into inflammation as a cause. After being on Celebrex (only anti-inflammatory which doe not interfere with continued bone growth) for 3 weeks my multitude of problems which included the bladder problems cited earleir, improved quite significantly. So much so I am now off OAB meds. Not totally back to normal yet but definitely working on it. I have have had a chronically inflamed sacroiliac joint for several years before fusion and my fusion site was also still swelling. Once the inflammation meds started to kick in, everything began to improve. Celebrex isn't cheap even with good insurance but to get rid of the pain in my back, hips, and backside to a major degree and greatly lessen the bladder issues, it is well worth it. It's made a huge difference.
Last edited by jinglepaws; 03-22-2010 at 09:22 AM.