Urinary Difficulties After a Brain Injury

Question: 

Seven months ago, I suffered a traumatic brain injury and haven't been able to pee normally by myself since the accident. I was just curious if there is any medication I could take or exercises to do to help this. Or, does it just take time?

Answer: 

Urinary difficulties after traumatic brain injury require a comprehensive evaluation. There are a number of common medications that can cause urinary retention including Benadryl and opiate pain medications. Depending on your age or gender, your risk for this could be higher or lower.

Consult your doctor; he should consider the implications of direct trauma to the bladder or urethra from your injury when giving you a full evaluation. Catheters are commonly placed in the bladder when people are admitted to the hospital and this can cause trauma to the urethra and lead to urethral strictures (narrowing of the tube leading out of bladder).

If your symptoms continue, get an evaluation by a urologist. From there, you will know if you can consider any medication or exercises.

 

Posted on BrainLine March 18, 2011

Brian Greenwald

Dr. Brian Greenwald is medical director of Center for Head Injuries and the associate medical director of JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. He is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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