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[Urinary incontinence in degenerative spinal disease].

[Article in Slovak]

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Neurochirurgické oddelenie JLF UK a MFN, Martin, Slovenská republika.



The aim of the study was to evaluate the presence of urinary incontinence in patients with chronic degenerative spinal disease and to identify factors affecting the occurrence and changes in urinary incontinence after surgery.


The group evaluated comprised 214 patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spinal disease at our department between January 1 and December 31, 2008. The patients were categorised according to the type of their degenerative disease (cervical disc herniation, lumbar disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spinal instability or olisthesis) and the spine level involved (cervical or lumbar spine). The symptoms of urinary incontinence included leakage of urine and non-obstructive chronic urinary retention developing in association with the manifestation of vertebrogenic disorder. Patients with diseases known to increase the risk of incontinence were not included in the study.


Based on a retrospective analysis of the patients' clinical notes, the occurrence of urinary incontinence in each type of degenerative spinal disease was assessed. The effect of gender, age, body mass index (BMI), neurological status and spinal disease type on the development of incontinence was statistically evaluated. The efficacy of surgical treatment was assessed on the basis of the patients' subjective complaints at the first follow-up one month after surgery. The data were evaluated by the statistical programme InSTAT (analysis of variance ANOVA, t-test). All tests were two-sided; a 0.05 level of statistical significance was used.


Of the 214 patients with degenerative spinal disease, 27 (12.6%) had urinary incontinence. A higher risk of developing incontinence was found in women (p = 0.008) and in patients with radicular weakness (p = 0.023). The patients with urinary incontinence had their BMI significantly lower than patients without this disorder (p = 0.019). Age had no effect. The differences in the occurrence of urinary incontinence amongst the different types of degenerative disease were regarded as approaching statistical significance (p = 0.09). The surgical treatment resulted in incontinence control in 15 (55.5 %) affected patients.


A comparison of the factors leading to the development of urinary incontinence in degenerative spinal disease and those associated with the development of incontinence in the general population suggests that the aetiology in each case is different. The relationship between low back pain and urinary incontinence remains unknown.


Degenerative spinal disease can result in acute or chronic urinary incontinence. Factors associated with its development include gender, BMI, radicular weakness and the type of degenerative disease. Surgical treatment improved or eliminated the symptoms of urinary incontinence in more than half of the patients affected.

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