Neurogenic Bladder from Spinal Cord Injury

When you lack bladder control due to a brain, spinal cord, or nerve condition, we call it neurogenic bladder. Symptoms of neurogenic bladder can include frequency, urgency, and urinary retention. Neurological disorders and injuries to the nerves can interfere with the nerve messages between the brain and muscles that control the bladder and cause problems with bladder control and emptying (voiding dysfunction). You might find you need to urinate urgently and/or frequently (caused by an inability to store urine due to an overactive bladder or weak sphincter) or have difficulty emptying your bladder fully or partially (caused by a weak bladder or overly tight urethral sphincter, the muscle that controls the flow of urine).

Many diseases and conditions can cause these conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage from spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Nerve disorders (such as diabetic or alcoholic neuropathy)
  • Congenital neurological disorders, such as spina bifida
  • Diabetes mellitus (type 1 and type 2)
  • Parkinson’s disease

Our specialists in incontinence conduct extensive evaluations to ensure highly specific and targeted treatments for patients with neurogenic voiding disorders, including:

  • Uroflowmetry and post-void residual testing assess how well the bladder empties
  • Urodynamic testing with x-ray and electomyography provide anatomic information about bladder and external sphincter activity, and bladder pressure. These tests allow us to pinpoint the origin of the dysfunction (the bladder, a bladder outlet obstruction, or both)