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Chronic Diarrhea after Lumbar Laminectomy

Started by mstidman on 02/01/2012 1:37pm

Has anyone ever experienced or heard of anyone having severe diarrhea lasting over a year after having a lumbar laminectomy? My husband had a c-5 to c-7 fusion in 2007; a c-1 to c-3 fusion and full C laminectomy in Feb 2010 and a full Lumbar laminectomy in set 2010. After the Sept 2010 he developed diarrhea. Very severe diarrhea to the point that he has lost over 70 pounds in the past 18 months. We have seen numerous GI doctors and had many tests ran and nothing shows up as far as irritable Bowel, Crohns or Cancer or any type of bacterial condition (ie Giardhia or EColi). None of the medication they have tried him on has helped the diarrhea. We have tried every dietary change prescribed as well as some not prescribed, to no avail. We have even sought alternative therapy such as going to a Neurolink and others. The only thing that we can possibly connect it to is the surgery. The diarrhea started as soon as he left the hospital. Now it is affecting everything about our lives. He is weak, has been hospitalized for dehydration several times and is losing hope. We can hardly even travel as he is in the bathroom sometimes 20 times a day. Haven;t had a full nights sleep in so long that we do not remember what it feels like. I have read that sometimes bowel or bladder function can be affected, but cannot find any information about it. We have asked his neurosurgeon if this could be related and all we got was an emphatic "no". We really trust him and his opinion as he performed all 4 surgeries on my husband, but are concerned that he just has never heard of a correlation such as this. Any feedback would be appreciated as this never ending issue is severely impacting our lives. Even if there isn't a fix, at least an answer would be of help. Seriously considering a colostomy at this point since maybe his quality of life would be a little better if he didn;t live in fear of pooping his pants in front of our family or a customer. Plus, having to go on the side of the road, in fields, in public bathrooms, and everywhere else you can think of is very tiresome. as a side note, all of these surgeries have NOT taken his pain away either. If he had known he would suffer so incredibly bad even after having all of these procedures he would have never started the surgery path.
Thank You.

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7 Responses

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Anyone? We are getting desperate for answers. Maybe the back and neck surgeries are not related at all, just was hoping someone would have had symptoms similar...

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Anyone? We are getting desperate for answers. Maybe the back and neck surgeries are not related at all, just was hoping someone would have had symptoms similar...

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In answer to your question, I had a very bad back in 1970 after having a fall, I was sent to a neurosurgeon by my doctor, I went to see this surgeon on several occasions and in-between visits I started getting constant diarrhea.....I lost a lot of weight and the surgeon got very worried thinking that I had cancer so before he would do surgery he had tests done on me for that, the test were all clear.....so the surgery went ahead, however since that operation (and 2 more since then) I have had loose stools and quite a lot of bouts of diarrhea.....the surgeon said this would happen so I take 1 Gastrostop each day. I am going through a bout of diarrhea right now but my doctor does not accept the fact that it is my back that is causing it ...I am just as confused as you folks are and wonder who to believe........2 separate surgeons told me this would happen but doctors will not accept it???
The doctor just told me to take a couple more of the Gastrostop until it eases off

Hope this helps

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Could it simply be stress? I had this for about 5 yrs. ( But NOT right after surgery.) It got to the point where I just couldn't eat before or during work because I knew it would go right through me. I was so stressed, knowing how bad I was going to hurt once I got to work that eventually this was how my body told me to STOP. I too lost a lot of weight ( I ended up weighing 113 pounds). The sub-conscious mind is very powerful, and this was how mine made me aware of the amount of stress I was putting my body through. I know this now because since I quit my job, and consequently can, to a certain extent, control what I do and therefore limit the amount of pain that I will have, the loose bowls have stopped. ( Unless I'm stressed about something, then it's back.) It sounds so simple, and yet it took me years to figure it out.
I'm sorry to hear of someone suffering with this for so long. I hope you find your answers soon. Good luck and God bless.

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I believe your problem could very well be related to the back surgery. I have had 2 surgeries with spinal fusion and I know that I have lost a lot of ability in my legs and issues of control. I just keep anti diarrhea
pills with me at all times and don't eat much meat or spicy foods.

I wish I could get more strength back in my legs as it has been 4 years now and I just struggle with steps, even just a few. I just think my legs are not getting the message or something is interfering with the push I need. I don't want to go through it all again so I choose to deal with it all as at least I know how to adjust and more surgery might mean more problems. Good luck and keep trying to figure out you can prevent problems.

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Hey, I had a microdiscectomy on L5S1 and the day after surgery I developed Horific Diarrhea that lasted 15 months. I took them a long time to figure it out but it was eventually determined that I had developed a Neurogenic Bowel which is caused be either a spinal cord injury or in some cases simply having your spinal cord touched during surgery. It is a terrible condition but will eventually go away. Here is some info that might help. http://www.drugs.com/cg/neurogenic-bowel-after-spinal-cord-injury.html

Randy

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I have exactly the same problem from surgery in the same time frame. I would ask the spine surgeon, and he said he had never heard of anyone having a problem. My doctor is scheduling an MRI because I am also having nerve pain and weakness on my left side with a different deep pain near the implant. Of course, just to make it more fun, someone handed me a heavy bag in the elevator, and upon exiting I tripped over uneven carpet, and fell and cracked my knee - I will be swag if pain did not start on my right side (I did fall partially on a very cute security guard - so at least one good thing.).

My insurance requires physical therapy before the MRI, and I am glad they did. The first thing I saw when looking at their brochures, was one on the correlation of back issues and gastric symptoms, Guess what, there may be hope. She also said that you could fall so hard and it would affect other parts of your body. My back is too tender and swollen for her to access (except she said that my spine was crooked/twisted (what?), and we have been doing exercises to strengthen my pelvic muscles and gluts which may prevent or lessen the gastric symptoms. This physical therapy group has a therapist who specializes in this area, and she is referring me next week. I feel like I am finally doing something. I am religiously doing the exercises, and walk every day (already did this.) I hope you get better. Thanks, Denise.

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