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    Question for Dr. Wise or SCI nurse

    Hi, was wondering if you have heard of recovery for SCI patients to be longer and harder than another patient experiencing the same ailments, but not suffering from SCI. For instance, does a person with SCI have a longer recovery time from say a kidney infection than someone who has a kidney infection but does not suffer from SCI? Also, is it possible for an SCI patient, after going under general anethesia and surgery, to be back recovery wise to the same point as when the person initially suffered the SCI? Meaning the individual was not able to preform physically tasks/duties that they were able to do prior to the surgery? Any info would be great. Thanks

    #2
    Yes, recovery from acute illnesses and surgery can be slower for those with SCI, and yes, they get debilitated faster and more seriously with any bedrest than AB people do. This is made worse by aging as well (for anyone, not just SCI). It will take longer to get back to the same level of independence for someone with SCI if they are weak or debilitated since most everything that you do with a SCI takes more energy and effort than it takes for an AB person to do the same activity.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      #3
      I was told that the recovery for thoracic instrumentation removal would be 2-3 weeks. Is that a normal recovery time for an SCI patient undergoing this type of surgery?

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        #4
        For posterior instrumentation removal, it is common to be in the hospital for 3-5 days, and 3-4 weeks of recovery before you really have your full strength back would be pretty average.

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

        Comment


          #5
          Should I have been in a pt facility or program initially following the surgery because I am SCI or is the recovery strickly on my own shoulders after the surgeon preformed the surgery?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
            Yes, recovery from acute illnesses and surgery can be slower for those with SCI, and yes, they get debilitated faster and more seriously with any bedrest than AB people do. This is made worse by aging as well (for anyone, not just SCI). It will take longer to get back to the same level of independence for someone with SCI if they are weak or debilitated since most everything that you do with a SCI takes more energy and effort than it takes for an AB person to do the same activity.

            (KLD)

            I agree with KLD. The reasons of course can be varied but here are some:
            • Lack of exercise: lower cardiovascular and pulmonary reserve.
            • Low hormones: steroids, testosterone/estrogen, thyroid, parathyroid, etc.
            • Drugs: baclofen, anticholinergic (ditropan), gabapentin, etc.

            Not all or even most people with spinal cord injury are unhealthy, have low hormones, or take drugs that reduce healing. It is possible for people with spinal cord injury to be healthy. Of course, many people who don't have spinal cord injury don't exercise, have low hormones, and take a lot of drugs that retard healing.

            While healing may be slower (particularly bones), older people can and will heal and recover from major surgery. In the 1970's, when I went to medical school, people over 60 years of age were considered too old for cardiac surgery. Today, a majority of people who get such surgery are in their 80's.

            In my opinion, older people and their doctors are too afraid of surgery. For example, I have seen many people and surgeons delay discetomy (removing herniated discs) and decompression surgery because of the fear that they would not recover or heal as well.

            This should not be. If something that is surgically correctable is damaging the body or spinal cord, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits. If the risk of loss of function from not operating is worse or greater than the risk of surgery, the surgery should not be postponed.

            Another consideration is that prolonged inactivity (due to pain or paralysis) may reduce health and ability to recover from surgery. If postponing surgery will lead to months of inactivity, earlier surgery may be a better choice, especially for conditions that are unlikely to improve with time.

            I have a good friend, for example, who is in her 60's and has hip pain. Her doctors have postponed her hip replacement and she has had significantly reduced activity in the past year. I advised her to get her hip replacement surgery sooner rather than later. It is not likely to get better.

            Wise.
            Last edited by Wise Young; 16 Jan 2007, 10:35 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by 05survivor
              Should I have been in a pt facility or program initially following the surgery because I am SCI or is the recovery strickly on my own shoulders after the surgeon preformed the surgery?
              Responsibility for recovery is always on your shoulders. You are the key to recovery. Physical therapists and rehabilitation programs are only there to help. Recovery takes discipline and hard work. Rehabilitation can help motivate you, provide facilities that make exercising easier, and provide knowledge and advice but the recovery is up to you.

              Wise.

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                #8
                I just competed in a triatholon as the swimming leg. On a weekly basis I was doing cardio 30- 45 minutes of walking on incline( treadmill and walking trails), stationary bike (no back, just the seat), elliptical, cross-trainer, rowing, swimming 50 - 60 laps twice a week, 1 hour weight training, 1 hour of yoga and pilates, and being able to participate in everyday life with no restrictions whatso ever. Now, I cannot even go to the grocery store. The specialist I saw at UMMC sstated that my injury was such that my bodies natural state was to be inable from injury down, but hard pt for the remainder of my life would allow me to achieve some sort of normalcy but at a much slower pace than was commen for AB. Any truth in that, that you know of?

                Comment


                  #9
                  What I meant by the pt facility is this, Should the doc have anticipated the fact that I would recover at a much slower rate baceuse I am SCI, and should he have recommended or presricbed pt for it? I had to see a pain management specialist in order to go to a rehab facility to neuro train and strengthen my lower extremeties 1 1/2 months post op. Is that normal for patients who have SCI to just be left on their own after the thoracic removal surgery?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Also can one develop scoliosis from the harrington removal? Because I have limited use of the right side, my neurologists said that he can feel the curvature (which I did not have before) and that my left side is overcompensating which is the reason he said I am experiencing so much pain on the left side (which also was not present prior to surgery) and ordered x-ray of the thoracic aspine to confirm. ANy insight??

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                      #11
                      05: I can tell you my son's experience, and it wasn't good. His rods/screws were removed in July and the pain did not subside. Continued to increase, infact and he was unable to sit upright. He's T12 and this was not an issue before the removal. At about 1 month we returned and the X-ray's showed that his back was broken again, Bone is very strong in compression (Pushing on it), but weak in tension (Bending or stretching) and his back had "snapped". I have xray's, if you'd like to see them. His back was unsupported and could have caused additional cord injury, luckily it did not. We thi
                      If you haven't had xrays since the removal, you should do so. With special attention to the site of pain and curvature. (oops, I see that is scheduled....).
                      Combining this thread with your other one, it really sounds like you have has some unexpected problems that need to be evaluated in depth.
                      BeeBee

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yeah I totally agree with you, but the neurosurgeon has written me off. Probably because he never disclosed to me that a possible risk of the surgery was scoliosis because I am T-6 imcomplete. So, I'm totally on my own trying to deal with the emotional and the physical side of thinsgs. I have seen my neurologists who stated that I have definite curve in my back so he ordered sets of thoracic x-rays ordered. We'll see on Tues.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You may need to have the hardware put back in. My son did. And it is unlikely that it will ever be removed. I know the ortho that did the work will never remove it, unless it fails.
                          Good luck and keep looking for the answer.
                          You don't say where you are, if you'd like to say, someone may have some physician/clinic suggestions. It's up to you, of course, to disclose this type of info or not. I'm in Michigan, if it helps you and you can PM me if you wish.
                          BeeBee

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                            #14
                            That is really not an option that I would like to hear. I've "felt" that something has been wrong since about 1 month post op I've only had an MRI done thus far. It is now 3 months post op and I'm still in immense pain like 7-8 where as before I was like a 4-5. I still have the intermittent loss of sensation/feeling if I "step" down the wrong way. Still searching.

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                              #15
                              I understand, it wasn't the answer we wanted, either. His screws were pushing through his skin, he's so thin. When they replaced them, the screws were counter-sunk, so they don't protrude.
                              I hope you get help, soon, 05. It really sounds like you're at risk for additional cord damage.
                              BeeBee

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