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    I was hurt in a fall at my home on Jan 15th 2009 and have been diagnosed with a Central cord syndrome injury. I also had a large spur at the site of my injury C4-C5 which was removed with this operation(Anterior cervical 4 diskectomy and fusion,anterior Atlantis plate at 27 millimeter).I was not able to move from the neck down for about the first three hours after my fall.
    I have sense been able to walk and move my arms and hands,although I do not walk very well and my arms and hands are very weak.I know that i am blessed to just do this.My greatest problem right now is nerve damage.I can not feel any change in temperature from my neck down.I can get in a HOT bath and it feels cold to me up until my shoulders and arms,hands.I still can not have a bowel movement on my own . I can urinate,and get erections although i can not have an orgasm.

    I have very bad nerve pain from my shoulders down to my fingers .It also feels like i am bruised if you touch me from the neck down to my thighs.

    I didn't mean to ramble and I'm not sure how to ask this but i was just hoping someone here could give me some idea if any ,or which things might get back to normal or what i could expect.What can i do to help my recovery. Thanks so much !

    hey ant111 Im a T6-7 incomplete.....and I just wanna start by saying You can void your bladder and get erections you lucky dog you. On a serious not though I'm relatively new to the SCI game myself. I try to stretch and exercise as much as possible. I don't know your situation, but i hope that helps alittle bit. Do what you can. Do it as much as possible, if you ain't sweatin you don't want it bad enough.
    T6/T7 Incomplete Since June 7th 2008
    Walking part-time with KAFOs & Walker
    *Never Quit Pushing*


      Another Central Cord Syndrome injury sufferer here, C3/C4, 1995. At this point in time, I was still doing inpatient rehab, if that helps some as a frame of reference. I was walking, but arms were very weak, my hands and fingers were just beginning to get some movement, and bladder/bowel both were not working. Orgasm, not hardly. As far as sensation, hot felt hot, and cold felt hot, or maybe it was the other way around, I just remember they both felt the same, and I remember that sharp felt dull, although a different kind of dull. Light touch was torture.

      I recovered rapidly the first couple of years, and think I am still regaining function now almost 14 years later (started relearning how to ski this winter through an adaptive ski program, hope to be skiing like "normal folk" next year). As KLD said, it is hard to predict what recovery YOU will get, but I was told that most occurs in the first couple of years, and that it is most rapid at first, and gradually slows down. I was also told by a physician who had practiced (non-traditional) Eastern medicine in India with SCI folks that what you can accomplish in the first three months is the most critical. Not sure how true that was, but I took it to heart and worked my tail off in rehab and then after I came home at two months. I had been told I would always need to use a wheelchair, I have been walking unassisted since the first few months. Although I don't think that hard work and determination guarantees good recovery, I don't think you can get it without it. I feel lucky though in that I did my rehab in a SCI injury program, not SCI-model but at least CARF-accredited, and followed up there as an outpatient, as opposed to these general rehab places people are often referred to.

      If you are looking for suggestions, my main one would be to get as much therapy as possible, and if you haven't already, find a therapist who has lots of experience with SCI. Ask your therapist what you can do on the days that you don't have therapy, or in addition to your therapy on the days that you do. They are all sadistic slave-drivers , they should be more than happy to give you a list of exercises. I joined a gym so I would have access to the equipment I needed on the days I didn't have therapy scheduled. If you can get access to a pool, and the warmer the better, they are a great place to work on balance type work and the warm water helps with spasticity if that is an issue. My rehab place had a pool so one of my PT's used to get in the water with me to show me things I could do, but the main one I recall was walking heel-to-toe, frontwards and backwards. We did that on land too, but it is harder in the pool with the resistance of the water working against you, so it has added benefit (also much softer fall!). Of course you can use the resistance for general strengthening exercises as well, leg lifts, etc.

      As far as neuropathic pain......... If you are only dealing with pain when you are touched, for me that has done nothing but improve. The other nerve pain, my left neck/shoulder/arm has also improved, only occasionally flares, but my right leg has not improved. I have never used Lyrica, but have tried it's kissin' cousin, gabapentin, and nada for relief. I take a different anticonvulsant, Topamax, and it works fairly well, works even better at a higher dose but then side effects become too much of an issue. Sometimes a different drug is more effective, and there are several to choose from, not all are anticonvulsants either. Cymbalta was another one that worked pretty well, an antidepressant, but IT killed my sex life, although not all people have this problem.........and by the way, my sex life (when I actually have one, sigh) is BETTER than before.

      That has been my experience. Your mileage, of course, may vary. It is still very new for you though, and it sounds like you certainly have good reason to be optimistic. You may never be exactly like you were before, but chances are good you won't have many limitations, perhaps none at all.


        It is still early in your recovery so some changes and improvements can occur. Keep exercising and you can see ask your SCI doctor or urologist about the erectile dysfunction-there are numerous medicaitons that might help.

        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.


          Thank you guys for the replies,i hope the best for you all.I,m going to work to get every ounce of recovery I can and know things could have been a lot worse.It can be hard to see your life change in a flash,but it is like i have been told.I may not walk the same but i can walk,i may not use my hands and arms the way i did but i can still use them..Bless you all and good luck. ANT

          P.S. It is kind of exciting wondering just what I may be able to get back...I have told my wife and daughter they have to quit using me as show and tell..LOL They have a bad habit already of when people come over saying Dad show them what you can do now...I'm just waiting for them to hold up food and make me turn in circles before i get it,just like they do our dog.