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Posted in: Herniated disc, and Surgery.

L5-S1 Herniation & Diarrhea

Started by Lumbar3 on 08/31/2017 5:28pm

Hi there! I had my second discectomy at L5-S1 on June 12th and unfortunately reherniated on August 8th. Fortunately the pain isn't too bad (so far), but I have had chronic diarrhea since the reherniation occurred (over three weeks now). My MRI shows that the cauda equina is not affected by the herniation, so my doctor doesn't seem to think the diarrhea is caused by the herniation. However, the timing coincides with the herniation exactly, so I believe there is a connection. I have never had this type of digestive issue previously. Just wondering if anyone else has any experience with a disc herniation causing diarrhea and what your doctor might have had to say about it. Thanks!

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Hi, Lumbar3--thank you for your post! We're glad you brought this issue up to your spine surgeon--and that you had an imaging scan to confirm that cauda equina syndrome isn't to blame. Are you on any medication? Possibly taking anything new after the reherniation? We wonder if perhaps the diarrhea is connected to that, if you are taking anything.

If your spine surgeon does not see a connection between your spine and your GI issues, perhaps visiting your primary care physician would be a good next step. He or she might refer you to a gastroenterologist who might be best suited to get to the bottom of the issue.

We hope you find an answer soon--and we wish you all the best as you continue on your spine surgery recovery!