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New here, question on bladder issue

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  • New here, question on bladder issue

    Hi!! I have an odd issue with my bladder that, after research, sounds alot like a spinal cord issue. At the time, I do NOT have a spinal injury, but wonder about a couple of issues with my spinal cord. I have been diagnosed with cervical stenosis, where on the MRI you can see my C3-C4 impingeing on my cord.

    A little background....I developed some dysautonomia issue about 6 years ago, where I get lightheaded standing up. Over time, I've developed odd things that happen whether I am standing or sitting, so don't think it is solely due to the orthostatic issue(I think it is the other way around--my orthostatic issue is related to something deeper). The one odd symptom I get is a "surge", where my heart beats faster and stronger, I get flushed and then it passes.

    In the last year, whenever my bladder gets really full, I get this surge. In fact, I don't really notice that I need to go to the bathroom until this surge happens. It took me a year to notice this connection to the full bladder and surges. I looked it up and saw something about SCI patients having adrenaline surges when their bladders are full.

    I am wondering about a possible tethered cord. I was born with hip abnormalities and then various curves from scoliosis, and I believe what would be considered a sacral dimple, yet I am still mobile, except for the orthostatic issues that make me feel like fainting. I was wondering if tethered cord could be related to the bladder issue? Anyone know? Thanks so much in advance! I am not too sure how a doctor would take my directive of wanting to know if I have TC, but, it might explain alot of my head-neuro type symptoms also.

  • #2
    Who ordered the MRI? Have you been seen by a neurologist for an interpretation of the findings in the MRI, a medical work up, and treatment plan.

    The "surges" you are having" may be autonomic dysreflexia (AD) and may be associated with the need to empty a full bladder. AD can be dangerous because it can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure.

    All the best,


    • #3
      Thanks, gnl. The original doctor showed it to me, handed me my original MRI films and guard them! He said that I should wait for better surgical options down the road(years) and to always be in a car with an excellent neck support. I have since been to two other neuros for my lightheadedness, and neither wanted to look at my MRIs. Is that normal?

      So, I have no other opinions on the cervical compression.


      • #4
        You probably need a new set of MRIs - if I am reading your post correctly, the MRIs in your possession (ordered by your original doctor) are 6 years old. Depending on what is causing your symptoms, a lot could have changed between then and now - in addition, newer MRI software/machines/techniques are capable of showing a great deal more detail than older versions.

        In your shoes, I'd find a new neurologist or neurosurgeon for a second - and possibly even a third - opinion. When you describe your symptoms to the new doctor(s), you might mention that you are concerned about TC - but don't make it sound as if you've self-diagnosed the problem and are only looking for him/her to confirm it (by issuing "a directive," as you call it in your first post); make it clear that you want to get to the bottom of whatever is causing your distress.

        Best wishes, and welcome to CC.
        MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions