Pain in the upper buttock with difficulty urinating

by Anita
( yorkshire England )

I have degenerative disease of the spine L3 L4.
Two days ago I bent over to put my shorts on when my lower back made a loud crack. So loud my partner heard it from the other side of the bedroom.
The pain was immediate and very intense; I could not straighten my back.
My partner helped me to the bed to lay me down, but when I lay down the bed touching my back caused even more pain.
I rested for a few hours the pain eased a little, then he tried to sit me up but again the pain was so intense I screamed. A sharp stabbing pain which seemed to go up and down my spine.
After about 6 hours we tried again and it seemed easier to sit but still had pain.
He helped me to my feet and the pain seered through my back.
He sat me on a table chair which is higher than the couch.
I took some Tramadol and after an hour or so my back eased some.
Later that night the pain began to subside a little and was more bearable.
That is until i tried to stand, the pain came back stronger than before, but this time the pain shot across from my spine in almost a straight line to the top half of my buttock and upward.
This pain was so intense i almost fell to my knees.
Every time I tried to put weight on my right leg the pain was really intense.
It was sharp seering pain but at the same time felt like something hot inside and it was stinging.
I had to be carried to bed; I couldnt walk.

Now to ease the pain I walk sideways like a crab and very slowly. It does not stop the pain. I have also found if I lean to the left this also eases the pain.
I cannot walk forward because the pain is stronger.
The pain is also more pronounced when i try to stand from sitting and vice versa.

My Gp prescribed 2mg Diazepam to be taken 4 times per day. It is now 4 days since my back cracked and the pain began and so far there is no improvement.
My Gp said to stand upright but I cant because of the pain.
It is nothing like sciatica which i also suffer with. The pain now goes from deep in my hip and across to the right side of my spine.
I cannot turn my upper body to the right as this causes more pain but i can turn to the left also i cannot raise my arms above shoulder height. The easiest way for me to walk is by leaning my top half of my body to the left and carefully move sideways; this does ease the pain slightly.
Laying down is painful on either side so i lay partly on my front but then getting up or trying to roll over causes excrutiating pain.

Also since this happened my knee has swollen; not sure if this is to do with my back.

The other problem i have noticed is that passing urine is very difficult and bowell movement has only happened once which is unusual as i normally go every morning.

Apologies Anita for the late reply. I've been on leave.

You need immediate, now, today, specialist opinion. What you are describing is what is known as a cauda equina syndrome. The nerve to your bladder and has been impinged making it difficult or impossible to urinate. Your bladder could burst causing a host of new problems; you may need to be catheterised.

It's now a week since you wrote; if you bladder is still difficult, go to a hospital today and demand to see a specialist. Tell them you can't pee and mention cauda equina; that should get any doctor hopping. From a distance it would seem to me that your GP has missed the boat.

You may have either a severe slipped disc, called a sequestration, or possibly a fracture with massive swelling. I'm astonished your GP hasn't at least called for an xray or preferably a scan.

Don't delay. Today. Let me know what happens.

Dr B

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