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After a recent ER visit and follow up MRI, I was told that my chronic back pain, osteoarthritis, sciatica, had progressed resulting in bulging discs pressing on my spinal cord at L2-L3 and L3-L4 levels.

A catherization showed I am retaining too much urine in my bladder. The ER advised the discs pressing on my spinal cord are preventing my bladder from emptying.

In addition per ER if left untreated could lead to paralysis or worse (death).

My primary care doctor said things may resolve on their own and did not see me until 2 weeks after the ER visit - by then I had to use a wheelchair.

Finally she referred me to a Pain Clinic for a cortisone shot to reduce swelling, pain and prevent bladder infection. Then she left on vacation stating do not bend and do not lift anything but answered no other questions.

The Pain clinic advised they will review my case and let me know in 7-10 days if they will accept or reject me as a patient.

In 2 weeks I am scheduled to have cervical polyps surgically removed by my gynecologist. My PCP left on vacation without advising if I can have this surgery without causing further injury to my back.

I am having difficulty starting urination when I know I have to go then usually urinate very little despite drinking water all day but no other UTI/Bladder infection symptoms.

I have limited range of motion due to constant back pain and based on the above information. Is anything I can do to prevent a bladder infection and is surgery for cervical polyp removal safe to have prior to my spine being treated?

My gynecologist is also on vacation until the day before surgery is scheduled. Surgery was postponed on 6/1 and I don't know if there could be complications from further delays.

I have Stage 3 Kidney Disease and am concerned that a bladder infection will affect my kidneys. I am awaiting a return call from my nephrologist and am feeling lost as to how to explain all this to him.

I am frustrated and frightened that physicians are covering for my vacationing ones have not returned my calls and that the Pain Clinic will not get back to me for at least a week and may decide to reject me as a patient.

Thank you for any information to avoid a bladder infection and whether cervical polyp surgery can be done safely prior to spine treatment.


Based on the information that you have provided, I am guessing that it may be better for you to have the spinal surgery performed prior to the cervical polyp surgery. Unless you have your urethra catheterized and your urine drained into a portable urine bag that you can carry with you at all times, a sudden total urethral obstruction can cause the urine to back up to the kidneys resulting in an emergency situation. This can be real bad for someone with stage 3 kidney disease. Your attending surgeon will examine your complete medical history prior to performing any surgery. He or she will determine if the surgery is appropriate at that time.


Dear hoseclamps,

Thank you *so* much for responding to my 'Guest' post. Initially I did not see where to register so did not think anyone would reply.

I am now registered and any future postings will show me as 'jemily'.

The information you have provided is *very* helpful to me, and I am forever grateful.

Finally smiling again a bit,



You are welcome. Please also visit our "small talks" forum for some chit chat when you are not too busy.


Thanks for the invitation to small talks. I will find it as these issues resolve which should be Sept/Oct '09.

After doctors there review my case, I hope to hear from the Back Pain Center by the end of next week to set up an appt for an evaluation and treatment plan which may include back surgery. I was told that initial appt may not be scheduled until the end of July.

My gyn wants to see me on 7/2 and will examine MRI and talk with me re rescheduling cervical polyp surgery - face to face talk since PCP is on vacation. His nurse practitioner was here this morning assessing where and how I'm sitting, sleeping, using computer. Consensus was until I get better back suppor at PC to use only briefly.

My nephrologist called to calm me and ask me to be at his office 7:45am tomorrow for a face to face talk re CKD III and any relationship to the spine problems as they currently exist with a follow up in August.

I am calmer knowing they are on board offering their expertise and support since I am frustrated and frightened waiting to be treated and of what that tx may be at Back Center. Nice to know there are some doctors who know how to pick up & dial the telephone all by themselves.

Thanks again and hope to join in at small talks asap.


I recently had an annual gynocologists visit. Immediately after, the internal exam, I experienced a constant need to urinate. I was mildly concerned until later that night blood was in my urine. I immediately called the doctor on call and received an anti-biotic that relieved the urge immediately. Soon after, the urge reoccurred and is with me. When I urinate there is no pain, but I trickle only a little and still have the desire to go. I never had any of this prior to the exam. What happened? What is wrong?


I hate to say this. It appears that you may have contracted a urinary tract infection, possibly as a result of the gynecological exam. Pathogens can be introduced into the urethra if the exam wasn't done properly. Doctors are not perfect. Cranberry juice is a popular home remedy for urinary tract infection. There are quite a few educational videos on the efficacy of cranberry juice on youtube.