Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Trying to understand C 7 Quad

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Trying to understand C 7 Quad

    My son's dad had a terrible fall on 5/14. He's only 38 years old. Broken vertebrae at c4 and c5 crushed into his spinal cord. It's not severed. Now, he's been moved to Spaulding, only has feeling in shoulders and head, body is finally accepting a feeding tube, has pneumonia, and is on full vent because his lungs keep filling with fluid. Upon arrival yesterday Spaulding, they said he's a C7 quad so far.
    What can we expect at this point? What is important to watch for? Be afraid of? I just don't know how things progress pr what to hope for. Any info will be helpful.

    #2
    I am assuming Spaulding in Boston? At C7, if he was healthy before, he should be fully weanable from the ventilator. Pneumonia early on is common and is something that needs aggressive treatment before they can start weaning.

    Worse case, even if he does not get any more return (which it is too early to tell at this point), at C7 he has the potential to be fully independent in his own self care, drive, transfer himself, and work (as well as be a dad) following rehabilitation.

    Are you close to him still? It is so important now that his friends and family stand by his side and provide support and show their love. He will know you are there, even if he is sedated.

    I would encourage you to read these articles by Dr. Young which are posted on this site:

    /index.php?page=viewarticle&afile=27_February_2003@ AcuteSCI.htm

    /index.php?page=viewarticle&afile=24_June_2003@Spin alLevels.html

    /index.php?page=viewarticle&afile=14_March_2003@fam ily_adjustment.htm

    I would also recommend that you request a free copy of this book from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation:

    http://www.christopherreeve.org/site..._Paralyzed.htm

    I assume he is not a military veteran? If so, it would be to his benefit to get into the VA SCI System of Care.

    (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


      #3
      His immediate family is rotating shifts to be there for him, but live 1 hour away. I am trying to help, gathering info, as we(his son and I) live across the country. It's easier for me to be optimistic, as I'm not the one who is there, looking into his scared eyes. The family is also having difficulty getting info on and understanding his prognosis. I want to understand and know what to ask. He is conscious and refusing morphine, so he knows what's going on. He is aware of that he probably won't walk again. He's very scared he won't regain feeling and/or use of his arms. He can't feel them now. He has no anal feeling right now. Can that return or is it a sign of something?

      Comment


        #4
        I know all of this is new and this is a great site for info. My son is year and a half post injury. Doctors typically paint a sad picture for recovery. As soon as he is well, stable and done with acute care, talk to him about exercise recovery such as Project Walk. It is a place of hope and a C7 injury would do very well there. So glad we did not believe all the written material we were given. My son has made remarkable progress and I have met several with C injuries who are now walking. This a a life changing event but doesn't need to be a life ending event. You can visit Project Walk at projectwalk.org. There are centers like PW opening all over the country. In fact, if he is in Boston, there is one there. I wish you luck with all of your fact finding. There is lots of info out there. Just know that there is hope...I don't mean false hope, whatever that is but people making huge strides everyday.
        Luke 5:24

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by tgoodwin View Post
          I know all of this is new and this is a great site for info. My son is year and a half post injury. Doctors typically paint a sad picture for recovery. As soon as he is well, stable and done with acute care, talk to him about exercise recovery such as Project Walk. It is a place of hope and a C7 injury would do very well there. So glad we did not believe all the written material we were given. My son has made remarkable progress and I have met several with C injuries who are now walking. This a a life changing event but doesn't need to be a life ending event. You can visit Project Walk at projectwalk.org. There are centers like PW opening all over the country. In fact, if he is in Boston, there is one there. I wish you luck with all of your fact finding. There is lots of info out there. Just know that there is hope...I don't mean false hope, whatever that is but people making huge strides everyday.
          My son was at Spaulding in Boston 5 years ago. I know its only been a couple of weeks but by finding this web site you will gain much needed support and knowledge. The nurse has given you great advice. I hope and pray the best for you and your family. Great people are working hard for spinal cord issues!

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you, tgoodwin and mckeownp. He was on the job when this happened and it's a work comp case. I want to be sure he gets the best rehab available. It's just so hard to know whether the care he's getting IS the best. He was moved from Lahey Clinic SICU to Spaulding rehab on Friday. They had him upright yesterday, so he was not feeling so helpless and condemned but he is still on full vent, can only move his head, and can't eat.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by healing View Post
              Thank you, tgoodwin and mckeownp. He was on the job when this happened and it's a work comp case. I want to be sure he gets the best rehab available. It's just so hard to know whether the care he's getting IS the best. He was moved from Lahey Clinic SICU to Spaulding rehab on Friday. They had him upright yesterday, so he was not feeling so helpless and condemned but he is still on full vent, can only move his head, and can't eat.
              Spauldingrehab.org will overview their program headed up by Dr. Kevin O'Connor. They are building a new facility in the next few years. The current hospital is old.

              Steve Williams' Model SCI Rehab. at Boston Medical Center is very involved in the latest issues. A great resourse is their "Stepping Forward" program.

              Brigham & Women's transitional pain research is cutting edge.

              Boston therefor has a lot of options.

              Comment


                #8
                I'm a c7/c8 incomplete s/p 32 years - my BD is 8/26/77

                I was vented and all the works (major internal injuries). I was blessed and received different degrees of sensation, feeling and some motor function for over 15 years plus a having a kick ass attitude helped. I'm about 90% independent as long as I don't flip out of my chair.

                In old school terms he's a newborn. Way to early for any determination of return IMHO. It's not easy but I enjoy my life and it's journeys. When he's able and ready I could answer a lot of his concerns if he wishes.

                Hang in there!
                Lynarrd Skynyrd Lives

                Comment


                  #9
                  Free Bird...thank you for the encouragement. He is very scared right now. His fear is that he won't get use of his arms back. I think correspondence with you would really help him once he is capable. BTW...he is also a Skynyrd fan.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Did you understand the doctors to say C7? If so, then he should already have the following arm muscles working:

                    C5-Deltoids (shoulder)
                    C5-Biceps (flex elbow)
                    C6-Wrist extensors
                    C7-Triceps (extend elbow)
                    C7-Wrist flexors

                    C8 gives you individual finger flexion and extension, and T1 the intrinsic muscles of the hand (spread the fingers), so if he is officially C7, he should already have a lot of arm movement. If not, then you need to question the physicians again.

                    (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


                      #11
                      I think he is in major spinal shock right now but I think C7 should be moving arms, too, so I'm confused. Now they may feel really heavy at the moment. Perhaps he is too weakened by the pneumonia to pull it off? I remember being able to raise my arms over my head, but it was HARD. I groaned. Later I learned that move requires triceps, which I was blessed to retain although they still are weaker than my other arm muscles. I lay in the neuro icu, land of eternal boredom, and tried to lift my arms up. It felt like they had 50 pounds strapped to them. But I could feel the movement in there.

                      With his arm placed at his sides, forearm up, can he bend his hand upward? That causes the fingers to flex in a move called tenodesis. I drive, talk on the phone, cook, drink coffee, all using tenodesis on one side. (The other side recovered better.)

                      At 1 hour distant, your best contribution may be research and pushing for things like the next available bed at the best dang rehab in existence. Quality of rehab trumps proximity to family...it is THAT important.

                      Pleas tell him I remember looking at my Dad and saying "Dad? What if I can't turn the pages?" But at C7, he WILL turn the pages. Fearing arm loss really is terrifying. I was starving b/c the hospital brought food I couldn't pick up. In desperation I grabbed the plate once, using my "clubs". Dumped a whole plate of fettucine alfredo down my c-collar! Then I was starving and STICKY!

                      Things will get much better when he gets off the vent and off to rehab. Remind his ppl to turn him every 2 hours. Getting to rehab w/ a pressure sore is par for the course. Also dangerous, a hindrance and a permanent problem.

                      He's in for the fight of his life but it sounds to me like he is asking the right questions. At 38, he is 2 yrs younger than I was. 9 years later, I take long road trips with my dog, am completely physically independent. I scuba dive. I rally on Capitol Hill for SCI cure research. I'll probably board 14 or so airplanes this year. This is a slower life than I had pre-SCI, but it is more of a life than many AB's have.

                      I had an incomplete injury. That determines a lot and it is too early to tell for your dad.

                      He has to determine to fight. The only guarantee is that no trying = no progress. And the family should prepare for the very very worst. No home was ever TOO accessible. I'm recovering from the stomach flu right now. As always, I'm cursing my own shortsightedness and wondering why my home has so many obstacles. I used to think that if I made things easier for myself it would make me weak. Now I know I would just waste less energy on unnecessary obstacles.

                      Keep asking questions. We like to help!
                      Blog:
                      Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                        Did you understand the doctors to say C7? If so, then he should already have the following arm muscles working:

                        C5-Deltoids (shoulder)
                        C5-Biceps (flex elbow)
                        C6-Wrist extensors
                        C7-Triceps (extend elbow)
                        C7-Wrist flexors

                        C8 gives you individual finger flexion and extension, and T1 the intrinsic muscles of the hand (spread the fingers), so if he is officially C7, he should already have a lot of arm movement. If not, then you need to question the physicians again.

                        (KLD)
                        I don 't understand why they're calling him C7 Quad. His injury was to the c4 and c5 vertebrae. He can only feel his shoulders and can move his head. At the first hospital, the day he was injured, he could feel down to his belly button and breath on his own. The third day he had to be put on the vent and has been on since(17 days post injury).
                        It's so hard being the ex-wife who lives far away. The family is grateful that I'm looking things up for them, as they are busy trying to cope with this. I can't talk to the doctor to get details and I don't think things are being explained so the family really can understand.
                        One plus is.... when I mentioned they should request Dr. Kevin O'Connor, his sister told me that he IS his doctor.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The fracture levels do not determine the level of injury. The cord damage does, and that may be quite different from the fracture level. The ASIA exam, which should have already been done in the ICU, but will need periodic repeating when admitted to rehab and every few weeks thereafter, is what is important.

                          You need to ask about both his actual level of injury and ASIA category from the ASIA exam. Please be sure you have read the article by Dr. Young on level of injury that I posted above so you can understand this better and ask better questions of his physicians.

                          (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


                            #14
                            ok, am gonna chime in. been a bit perplexed by this post but didn't want to say anything. i am c7, 100% c6 displacement with a lesion at c4. everybody is diff but i'm wondering why these docs are saying c7? i temporarily lost triceps in one arm, but never lost arm function. i did permanently lose finger function after 48 hours (no meth, ). i have no doubt, had they given me wise's meth, i'd still have my fingers. it is in my med records my fingers worked in first 48 hrs. i even remember doc asking me to take his hand and squeeze it and hearing his amazed response.

                            don't stop hoping. you never know. best wishes.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I rehab at Spaulding 6 years ago-- my advise is have the family members stay very involved- push him as much as possible--Spaulding was a very depressing place when I was there- they were understaffed and the majority of the nurses aids did not speak english-- my family would see me everyday and this helped tremendously- the Physical Therapists were OK--Dr. O'Connor was new then and was just OK-- If you could transfer him to Shepard in Georgia he might make out better. Make sure he gets as much PT as possible - this is a critical time in his recovery. My own opinion is I wouldn't send my dog to Spaulding. I hope it has changed over the years.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X