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New T12 burst fracture -info needed

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  • New T12 burst fracture -info needed

    I had an accident on Nov 15. Airlifted to hospital and then 8 hour surgury upon arrival. I have a Burst fracture at T12. A cage was placed between T11 and L1. They said I did not sever or nick the spinal cord and the sheath ( whatever that is) was not damaged. I also injured both arms and am currently in a nursing home waiting for arms to heal. I have had a log of tingling in legs and was able to early on to move a toe. I now have sever pain in both my legs, butt and groin. Burning and very painful.. can not seem to get it under control. What is this? is it a good sign that I will walk again or is it not a good sign.

    I can not find any information that is helpful on possible prognosis. Can anyone help?

    Thank you in advance. I am 39 and was healthy and active when accident happened.

  • #2
    Unfortunately the symptoms you describe sound like neuropathic pain which all of us, at least most of us was spinal cord injurie have. There is a forum here specifically for pain where you'll find all sorts of information about neuropathic pain, including drugs that work and drugs that don't work in treating it. I wish it was good news for you and I'm sure someone here can chime in and let you know exactly what causes it but I don't remember. The typical drug to help with this kind of pain is called Neurontin which is an anticonvulsant drug. I've had experience trying every kind of opiate drug to try to eliminate my pain was very little results in eliminating it so I've just learned to live with what I've got.s
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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    • #3
      It sounds like you do have significant spinal cord damage. It is not necessary to "nick or severe" the spinal cord to get this, in fact most injuries to the spinal cord are due to bruising, crushing, decreased blood flow, etc. to the cord and not due to cutting or severing of the cord.

      Why are you in a nursing home instead of an acute rehab center? Are you uninsured? What state are you in?

      You need to be working with a physiatrist (physician who specializes in rehabilitation) with expertise in SCI. Rybread is right. There are drugs used specifically for the type of neuropathic pain you describe. Neurontin and Lyrica are the two most common. It would also be very important to get follow-up studies on your surgery to be sure that you do not have nerve root impingement that could contribute to the type of pain you describe. Have you seen a neurosurgeon since your surgery? Had a follow up MRI?

      (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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      • #4
        I wondered too why you are not in a rehab after such an operation, and injury.

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        • #5
          Welcome to cc...
          Hang in there.
          coolbreeze c6/7

          Keep on moving don't stop!

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          • #6
            I'm injured therer too. don't have time now but I will post a thread about T12's later

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            • #7
              Welcome to the site, Pooh. I also have a similar injury. I had burst fractures at T12, L1, and L5. I am fused from T10 to L2. We're close in age too, as I'm 41.

              The bad news is that what you're experiencing is most likely neuropathic pain, as others have stated. I like to call mine "neuropathic pain from hell". I have a severe, sharp burning sensation in my left sacral area that is about the size of a softball. My butt, entire left leg, right leg below the knee, and both of my feet have the numb, burning, tingling sensation at all times. It never goes away, but the intensity will vary. In addition, probably 4 or 5 days a week, I will have a sharp, electrical, stabbing, shooting pain that mostly originates in my burning spot in my left sacrum and then it usually runs down my left leg. And, finally, at random times, I'll have pain in any part of my body below my injury level that I would compare to what I think it would feel like to be shot or zapped by a taser. I've not had any luck with any of the drugs for paiin relief (Neurontin, Lyrica, Oxycontin, Valium, Tramadol, etc.). Hopefully, you will find a drug that will work for you, as some of them provide relief for others.

              The good news is that it is possible that you may walk again. Keep in mind that everyone is different. With having a lower level injury, with therapy and some sort of leg braces, you may be able to walk. It may not be a functional walk or it may progress to a somewhat functional walk. With HKAFO (hip, knee, ankle, foot, orthotic) initially and KAFO later, I was able to "walk" with a walker for about 500 feet before I would tire out. It is not a functional walk, it is more of an exercise for the leg muscles and bones. However, I haven't "walked" in quite some time as the pain has hindered the process.

              As SCI Nurse and others have stated, you need to get into a good SCI rehab facility and work with a physiatrist. You should be doing range of motion exercises, working with weights to strengthen your upper body (after your arms heal), standing in a standing frame, and being evaluated for leg braces if practical. Also, have you received a wheelchair evaluation and do you currently have a wheelchair?

              Just some information and thoughts. I hope you have a successful recovery and find some relief for your nerve pain. Hang in there!
              T11 incomplete

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              • #8
                check this thread it has alot of T 12 stuff

                /forum/showthread.php?t=34271

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                • #9
                  Thankyou to everyone!! Very Helpful information. In a Sniff due to both arms had surgury and can not wait bear for another few months. Will then go to in-house Rehab At Harbor View, Seattle WA for couple months. Has anyone with T12 injury been able to regain Bowels?

                  Thanks again

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                  • #10
                    Pooh, sorry about the accident and hope your arms will heal soon so you can go to SCI rehab, the sooner the better for you.

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                    • #11
                      take care of your skin and do not let girl friend/wife/lover help with bathroom functions. as a rule, the able bodied mate of the sci person is not given a lot of direction. And you will be even less informed unless you check into a Model SPINAL CENTER. Lots of places think they can rehab a para. Usually, they can't.

                      With a Nov injury, you can expect to begin to get some return of function soon if you are going to get any at all. Once it starts (return of function), things can come back over the next 2 years.

                      if after 6 months there is nothing earth shaking happening, then you turn into a DEMOCRAT and hope that REPUBS in Congress don't start giving frozen embryos their very own social security number.

                      good luck. I am t-8 burst-collapse. ASIA A

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                      • #12
                        Topspin -- got a good chuckle out of your political assessment.
                        Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
                        Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
                        -- Lucy VanPelt

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                        • #13
                          Hi Pooh, I am about 2 1/2 years out and still have the pains you describe, Lyrica and vicadin are the drugs I am taking but it only takes the edge off. I am able to walk around short distances without crutches but it is like a balancing act on the legs. For longer distances I use crutches or a cane. It almost feels as if I get worse at times, but if you have read any of the other cases at this site I am a lucky one even with all the pain. Take it a day at a time, I have made it back to work, but I am retiring after this year. Oh, bowels still do not work the same, and I self cath every 4 hrs. or so. That is the easiest part. Best of luck and stay tuned to the site, many answers are here. Beachboy

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                          • #14
                            T12 burst

                            Hi, I'm 42 and had a T12 burst and L1 compression fracture when I was 30. What you are feeling is probably exactly what the rest of us feel, neuropathic pain. Mine is in my feet, it never goes away completely, I take methadone for it which, as I put it, "takes the pain from the front of my mind and puts it in the back of my mind" so I don't really notice it. (as long as I take my methadone on schedule) I tried neurontin but it made me hallucinate, I saw little critters running from under the furniture and talked to people who weren't there. I too was put in a nursing home after being released from the hospital after 3 months. It took awhile, but I did learn to walk again, although I am partially paralyzed from the waist down and cannot move my left leg at all beneath the knee. Sensation is fairly good, except for the S1 nerve. So I have a numb spot that runs along the top of each foot, up the back of each leg and across my butt. I wear an AFO brace on my left leg, which keeps me from having "foot drop". I can't stand on my toes, I have no flexion in either leg. So walking is basically balancing on my heels. It took about 5 months to take my first step, I used a wheelchair for about the first 8-10 months, then a cane for awhile. Now I get around pretty well, although I have a limp. Sometimes people will come up to me on the street and tell my I need to quit drinking, which is very annoying because I don't drink. Anyway, back to the pain. Mine too is a stabbing, stinging pain which alternates between feeling like someone is electrocuting my feet or hitting the on the soles with a board. Without the pain meds I don't know if I could handle it, sleeping is very difficult, you can't concentrate, and you're crabby as hell. Chronic pain ages you, people who have never experienced it can never understand how it affects your life so completely. Just be strong, realize and accept things wll probably never be the same again, but you can get through it. It will be tough, I don't know if I could do it again, but we are stronger than we know. You'll learn things about yourself you didn't know before, which people who haven't had an injury could never imagine. Appreciate those things, because they are gifts. I wish you the best and hope you have a speedy recovery. Oh, and if they give you methadone, TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH. Nobody told me that, and I really wish they would have. It dries out your mouth, and now after 12 years my teeth are beginning to break apart.

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                            • #15
                              being able to wiggle your toes is the BIGGEST predictor of recovery! Congratulations. You must however try to get some therapy now, not months later.. Any recovery depends on it. There is only a brief window of opportunity after the injury (about 12 or 18 months) to get a lot back. This is really important. Nerves and your brain need input to try to reconnect and recover. If you can not bear weight in your arms, you can still work with a physiotherapist exercising your quads, hamstrings, ankles, etc.. while lying down in a mat or even your bed.

                              If you dont have insurance, or your insurance does not cover phyisiotherapy, my advise would be to sell any asset you have, to call any charity association, to knock on every door, including the press, to get a chance to do therapy. Your future pretty much depends on it, including your future capacity to work. There will not be a later chance to do it.

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