Man Loses Feeling In His Legs And Nearly Dies Due To Colossal Poo

A man lost the feeling in his legs and almost died after being unable to pass a colossal poo. 
Credit: Alamy

A man lost the feeling in his legs and almost died after being unable to pass a colossal poo. 

Constipation is a problem with passing stools and it’s fairly common.

It can be down to a lack of dietary fibre, fluids and exercises, medical conditions or certain medicines, as per Mayo Clinic.

While it may be fairly common to have a difficult time passing stools, it’s not common to be at the point of paralysis, as one man unfortunately experienced.

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A 57-year-old Australian man took himself to hospital with abdominal pain, swelling and nausea, it had been building up for three days – but this wasn’t the worst of it.

He was also experiencing pain in his right leg, which he was unable to move for 24 hours.

As published in the BMJ Case Reports, doctors said the leg had ‘no palpable pulse’ and was ‘cold to touch’.

The patient’s medical history revealed no drug taking, no risk of vascular disease and no significant medical issues.

He was just extremely constipated.

Constipated man holding toilet roll.
The man’s constipation was so severe he had to go to hospital. Credit: Alamy

A r**tal examination would reveal that the man had impacted stools – this is a large lump of dry, hard faeces that stays stuck in the r**tum, as per Medline Plus.

An abdomen scan would uncover that the patient was suffering from extreme faecal compaction and potentially life-threatening abdominal compartment syndrome. 

Abdominal compartment syndrome is a medical emergency which occurs in critically ill people. It involves bleeding or swelling in your belly causing dangerous pressure, leading to organ malfunction, as per Cleveland Clinic.

The man’s faeces were so backed up that they had distended his large intestine and put pressure on his right iliac artery. 

That immense pressure caused pain in his leg, along with paralysis.

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He was also showing signs of renal impairment – when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products (via Mayo Clinic)- and metabolic acidosis – which means there is too much acid in your blood, as per the National Kidney Foundation

Due to the seriousness of the man’s condition, he was rushed into surgery to remove the backlog of faecal matter and relieve his abdominal pressure.

“Significant faecal disimpaction was performed manually under general anaesthesia with approximately 2 litres of faeces removed,” doctors wrote in the report. 

Following the removal of the huge amount of stools, the man was given constipation relief.

Man holding stomach in pain.
The man was rushed into surgery due to the seriousness of his condition. Credit: Alamy

Four days later, the patient was able to leave intensive care – it would be another 13 days before he could walk again.

Doctors are unsure of what caused the man’s build-up.

If you’re unsure whether you’re constipated, then check the following symptoms (as per Gut UK):

  • Passing stools less than three times a week
  • Straining when passing stools on more than a quarter of occasions
  • Passing hard or pellet-like faeces on more than a quarter of occasions
  • Experiencing a sense of incomplete emptying after passing a stool
  • Needing to use ‘manual manoeuvres’ to pass a stool

Constipation is usually not bothersome, however, if you have concerns or your symptoms persist then contact your GP.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.