Spinal cord injury often results in a condition called Neurogenic bladder, and it is a common problem (affecting up to 80-85% of people with SCI). Research from the USA (Model Systems Database, 2009) suggests that the Top 3 leading causes of re-hospitalization after SCI were diseases of the genitourinary system (including UTIs), diseases of the respiratory system (e.g., pneumonia) and the skin (e.g., pressure sores).
Patients with SCI are at a higher risk of UTI than people without SCI. Left untreated, UTIs can lead to sepsis, autonomic dysreflexia (life-threatening spikes in blood pressure), or have other severe complications.
Neurogenic bladder causes problems with the storage and release of urine. Bladder control for people with SCI usually requires catheterization (either intermittent, indwelling, or condom) or reflex voiding, medication (e.g., anticholinergics or botox), or in some cases, surgery is done.
Improper management can result in significant kidney damage, kidney stones, recurrent infections, or autonomic dysreflexia.