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  • New SCI

    My brother recently suffered a SCI. He ruptured his discs from C4 to C6 and had cartilage damage at C1 which was blocking his spinal fluid. No movement from any of his extremities when he was admitted to the hospital. Today is 24 days post surgery and he is getting stronger every day. He is able to walk with some assistance for short periods though a bit unsteady. He can life is left arm and move all 5 fingers--though can't grip anything. No response from his right arm or hands. He can kind of wiggle some fingers if he concentrates really hard. Some PTs are saying he might have central cord syndrome? What are the possibilities that he will regain strength, movement and function in his arms and legs with central cord syndrome? We are encouraged by his progress, but all need more hope to refuel our optimism that this isn't the end of his recovery. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    No one can predict how much he will recover, but the fact that he has already recovered as much as he has is very very encouraging. A central cord injury usually means that the arms and hands are affected much more than the legs.

    I have a central cord injury. Most of my recovery took place within the first year after my injury, but I am now almost four years post injury and I am still improving in little ways.

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    • #3
      Thanks for replying Kari! Would you mind if I asked you how your upper body strength and movement are today? he has not seen improvement in his right arm and said he was concerned he was "losing his right arm". With your experience, would you say that there is a chance, even if he hasn't been able to move his right arm that he might be able to at some point...even if it is months or years from now?

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      • #4
        I am a lower SCI but just wanted to say Welcome to Carecure.

        Good luck in his recovery.
        T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

        My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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        • #5
          I have central cord syndrome. After my injury, my left arm was not able to move for a month. Now, with great effort, I can do fifteen pushups. I have considerable strength, >50%, in all of the muscles in that arm now. It is very early still. The most return in my left arm was between 8 and 12 months. Good luck.
          C1/C2 walking quad, SCI from 4/2010

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          • #6
            Welcome CC. Every person varies with their recovery, but it sounds very promising. With central cord, the hands are weaker than the legs- you sometimes hear the term "walking quad" used.
            CWO
            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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            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback Darkeyed Daisy, Cajun and SCI Nurse! Quick question, he is getting discharged soon, and is researching outpatient therapy. Though outpatient, he gets less time in therapy. Any recommendations for SCI therapist that might offer in-home sessions to supplement?

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              • #8
                Hard to make any recommendations since we don't know what country/state/city he is located in, and nothing in your profile either.

                He should be going home with a home exercise program. I assume he is in an acute comprehensive SCI rehab inpatient program right now? Which one? Have them made arrangements for outpatient therapy? Set him up with a home program? Recommended equipment to get? Does he have access to a pool (excellent for working on walking)?

                (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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                • #9
                  We are in Los Angeles, Arcadia, CA specifically. He is currently in-patient at Casa Colina in Pomona, CA. They said outpatient is 2 hours a day, but my brother would like more. He is encouraged by his recovery and has been working tirelessly to get stronger and better. He doesn't want to slow down.
                  So are there SCI therapists who offer in-home Sessions to supplement? Where can we rent equipment?

                  We don' have a pool, but can find a way to get access to one. You recumbent that to help with his walking?

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                  • #10
                    Casa Colina has a pool. Ask about getting access to their program in addition to his planned therapy. They used to have a group program. If they cannot accommodate you, then ask them to refer him to a community pool exercise program. There are accessible pools in the area.

                    It would be a conflict of interest for a Casa Colina employee to work for you or your son on their off duty time, and private pay (instead of your insurance covering it) would be very expensive as well. You should be asking his PT about exercise equipment (mostly purchase, rarely available for rent), and check out our Equipment and Services Forum for used equipment. Again, he should have a home exercise program in addition to his outpatient program. Insurance will rarely pay for unlimited outpatient therapy, and he will need a program for the long term.

                    Of course there are also the options of a post-acute rehab intensive exercise program such as Project Walk, but costs related to relocation, in addition to the costs of the program (which is not covered by any insurances that I know of) can be prohibitive.

                    (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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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccsmith409 View Post
                      Thanks for replying Kari! Would you mind if I asked you how your upper body strength and movement are today? he has not seen improvement in his right arm and said he was concerned he was "losing his right arm". With your experience, would you say that there is a chance, even if he hasn't been able to move his right arm that he might be able to at some point...even if it is months or years from now?
                      His experience is similar to mine. I thought I was going to lose my left arm, and they diagnosed me with central cord syndrome. Eventually I was able to regain a lot of function in my left arm, but it was a lengthy process.
                      2012 SCINetUSA Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
                      Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

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                      • #12
                        My insurance paid for a limited number of home visits by both a physical therapist and occupational therapist. On one of their last visits, they both accompanied me to a local gym where we evaluated which machines I could use, what settings for things like seats, what weight, how many repetitions, etc. I now go to the gym with a caregiver or family member who assists me in setting positions, placing my arms where they need to be on some of the machines, getting on an off a few machines (I have balance issues), etc.

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                        • #13
                          Welcome to CC. Attitude means everything, and as swh2007 said it's a lengthy process, hang in there, things will improve.

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                          • #14
                            KDL,
                            Thank you so very much for your insight. Casa hasn't given us a firm discharge date yet, so I will pass this information along to him in terms of make sure we get a detailed home exercise program! Your time and guidance is greatly appreciated!

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                            • #15
                              swh2007, thank you for sharing. your personal experience does help refuel our optimism that hopefully he will have movement in his right arm. he's working really hard everyday and we are just hoping his nerves will respond. we're ready for the long road ahead...but we'll take any kind of hope. so glad that you were able to have significant recovery in your left arm.

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