T12 wedge fracture
Hi, I had a bad fall around 2 years ago. I attended A&E and they said I had pulled a lot of muscles. No x-ray was done. However I suffered pain for a long time especially on bending, when I felt a shearing pain across my back and couldn't straighten up again as the pain was so bad. Eventually I was offered physio but this seemed to exacerbate the pain, this led to me being sent fr an x-ray around 8 months after the fall, this showed a wedge fracture at T12, with loss of height of around 25%.
I am having problems with my bladder and I wonder if this could be the cause. It's not all the time, but sometimes after sitting, or driving when I satnd my bladder let's go and I have no control over it, it doesn't happen all the time and otherwise my bladder control is fine and i have no leaks or anything, my pelvic floor muscles are strong too, but on the occasions this happens I have no control in stopping it at all.
As you can imagine this is quite stressful and embarrasing. I am having bladder investigations done and they are treating me for overavtive bladder, which I don't think is the case as apart from this happening I have perfect bladder control and have no urge or dtress incontinence.
I would appreciate your advice as to whether or not the fracture or surrounding nerves could be causing this.
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Yes, that fracture certainly could be the cause of what are known as "cauda equina" symptoms. An opinion from a neurologist would be a good idea.
I take it these symptoms started after the fall, and prior to the injury you had none of these distressful symptoms.
It's a dilemma in every practice: when do you X-ray. Because I too have missed a T12/L1 fracture in my early days (that's where much of the force is transmitted when you fall on the buttocks) I always order X-rays if there is specific thoraco-lumbar pain after a fall, particularly in the woman of 60+.
Apart from affecting your bladder, it could set up a "Maignes syndrome" too, with pain radiating to the buttock, groin and antero-lateral thigh.
I would start the basic lower back exercises you'll find at C-H, and then look at the "maignes syndrome exercises" but beware. They are quite tricky, you really should have professional help in doing them.
Use the Search this site function at C-H for more help on these terms.
I hope this has contributed.
Dr. Barrie Lewis