Every article I have read about bladder and bowel issues in spinal cord injured individuals state that T12 is the level that affects how they work.
It is said that above a T12 injury, you have flaccid bowels, meaning you have little to no peristalsis & your rectal sphincter will not open without help. Below a T12, bowels are generally spastic and the sphincter stays open most of the time.
The bladder is the same way. Above T12, it is spastic and sometimes leaky. Valsalva and/or Crede methods can be used to empty the bladder. Below T12, it is flaccid, and catheterization is required.
Now, imagine having an injury right at T12! Well, I do have to say, my bladder is spastic and I am on Ditropan to keep it from spazzing and leaking, but I can pee by bearing down sometimes. However, I never had bladder spasms prior to my 3rd spine surgery.
After my accident, my sphincter was open 24/7, and I had accidents quite a bit, compared to now. After my 3rd surgery, my bowels changed as well. Now, they are easily managed, and I have to use an enema and digi-stim to get them going.
According to this research, my injury level is now above a T12, instead of below. Maybe the re-fracture of my L1&2 affected my spinal cord after all.
I can totally relate to that Knight! I have read the same about bowels, being one way for higher than t12, and the other for lower. Well where does that leave me??? Im also L1/Th12.
I think I have flaccid bowels, usually need a supository, and my bladder is also flaccid, I catheterise, with little accidents occuring. Funny thing, I met one guy with completely the same injury as me, he catheterizes with quite regular accidents (probably spastic bladder, I know he went for botox couple of times), bowels - he also uses supository, quite strong.