Medical Practice

Vesical Dysfunction Due to Prolapsed Disc

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 25 September 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:752
  1. J. Cosbie Ross,
  2. R. M. Jameson


    Neural disturbance of micturition may occur as a result of a prolapsed intervertebral disc. Single nerve root lesions are unlikely to cause bladder dysfunction; a massive central protrusion producing total blockage of the vertebral canal or multiple disc lesions are more likely to cause disturbance of voiding. High lesions are more prone to cause severe bladder dysfunction. Vesical dysfunction may sometimes be present without the typical back and leg pain.

    Provided a gynaecological cause is excluded, any young or middle-aged woman developing incontinence and retention with a sterile urine must be fully investigated to exclude a disc lesion. Once the disc has been removed, bladder function will improve, but in some cases recovery will be slow. Rarely some patients have permanent bladder dysfunction following a disc operation.

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