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New here and a couple of questions.

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  • New here and a couple of questions.

    Hi. New here. Recent SCI. 4 months ago. I am currently in a nursing home with a wound vac hooked up to my coxsis (sp), the result of poor hospital care in our opinion (we are contemplating legal options). The sore got into the bone.

    We are considering flap surgery and are wondering what type of experince others have had with this.

    I have a T-5 incomplete and have had a band of pain across my chest. My neuro said this was normal. However, that pain has turned into a tightening band across my chest making it hard to take a deep breath. No fluid in lungs. I did have broken ribs as part of the injury. My neuuro said this too ws normal but wanted me to get xrays to be sure. I did this but have not heard back yet. Anyway I was wondering if any one else has experienced this.

    Thanks. Its so hard laying here in bed with this sore. Its been 4 months since the accident and I should be home by now. Depression is deep with all of these complications on top of the obvious.

  • #2
    Welcome, Mike. So sorry you had poor care initially. I would encourage you to seek legal redress. It is unacceptable, and below the standard of care for you to be allowed to get a pressure ulcer during your initial hospitalization. What type of bed are you on? I assume you are not sitting? Have you already been treated for the osteomyelitis? Will you have an expert plastic surgeon doing your flap?

    You can find a lot about recovery from flap surgery by doing a search here, esp. on the Care forum. You should anticipate at least 6 weeks of total bedrest after the surgery, most of which should be on an air fluidized bed (Clinitron, FluidAir, etc.). If all goes well, then a gradual sitting program over another 4 weeks would be needed for you to be up in your chair 4 hours twice daily. At that point, you should be in an good SCI specialty inpatient acute rehab center, probably for another 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately most insurers will not allow a longer rehab stay than that for someone with paraplegia.

    I assume you are not a US military veteran?

    Where are you located? Will you eventually be going for a formal inpatient acute rehab program? Is your neuro (neurologist or neurosurgeon?) your only doctor? Have you been seen by a physiatrist?

    Band-line pain along a dermatome associated with your level of injury (which would be true for T5 lower rib cage) is common in many people with SCI. Sometimes interventions such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Medications used for chronic neuropathic pain like this include Neurontin, Lyrica, and Tegretol, sometimes with the addition of tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine. Opioids are the last resort, but needed by some. You may want to do some reading in our Pain forum too.

    Please come back and ask more questions. It is also helpful if you could complete your user profile. Thanks!

    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.


    • #3
      to the Care Cure Community. Sorry that you got this pressure sore and didn't get a chance to go through rehab right away. Once this sore is healed and you get into the rehab setting, I think the depression will ease because you will be learning new skills and becoming more independent than you are now while you are on bed rest.

      Look forward to hearing more from you.

      All the best,


      • #4
        I am a T8 complete and I had pain/sensitivity along my injury line for a while after my accident (I had quite a few broken ribs and a cracked sternum as well). It went away after a while.