Spinal stenosis, bladder and bowel symptoms

Patient

Q: I have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. I was told I should have surgery but declined. I was then told not to wait too long or the damage my be irreversible (bowel and bladder symptoms). What exactly would those symptoms be? I have had a log of GI cramping lately which seem unrelated to any other illness. Could this be related?

Doctor

A:   The bladder and bowel symptoms related to spinal stenosis include in ability to void at will. That is, one would not be able to control ones bowel movements nor ones urine flow which may lead to embarrassing situations. Spinal stenosis may affect the nerves which control the muscles in these two organs resulting in these symptoms.

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