I currently have a benign tumor at my L3L4 a


Q: I currently have a benign tumor at my L3L4 a herniated disc at my L4L5 and a herniated disc at my L5S1. Narrowing of my spinal canal at L4L5 and L5S1. I have lost control of my bowels 7 times within the last 4 months twice being within the last two weeks and once today after I lost control of my bladder. I have had severe pain today in both hips and legs. Pain in my lower butt area and groin and inner thigh on my right leg today. I have an appt with a surgeon on the 2nd. My question is, do I need to just wait to see the surgeon or do I need to go to the er with the bowel and bladder problems today?


A:   Hello,
Thank you for your medical query at AskTheDoctor.com
I understand your concern.

The patient has severe pain in both hips and legs mostly from the narrowing of the spinal canal.
Since you have lost your bowel control 7 times in last 4 months, and twice in last 2 weeks, the level of compression of nerve, whether the tumor in impinging on some nerve, needs to be evaluated.

Though it is not an emergency, I will advise you to meet your doctor as early as possible. The fact that you are losing the bowel control frequently indicates that the tumor or the herniated discs are compressing the nerve and can also end up compressing the organs nearby, by causing a pressure effect.

There are some complications which can occur from the herniated disc, and hence it needs quick evaluation:

Saddle (perianal/perineal) anaesthesia or paresthesia.
Recent onset of bladder dysfunction.
Recent onset of faecal incontinence, unexpected laxity of the anal sphincter.
Severe or progressive neurological deficit in the lower extremities.

Even though your fecal incontinence is not new, but the frequency is gradually increasing. So, I will advise you visit your doctor at your earliest convenience.

Hope this was helpful,
Feel free to discuss further,

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