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  • TBI and SCI

    My son was severely injured by a hit and run driver four months ago. He had a severe TBI but doing really well. He also suffered a L1 burst fracture as well as an amputated left leg. His right arm is really messed up too, lots of rebuilding with rods, wires and plates. Rod in right leg too.

    My question is this: I don't know how to tell if something is TBI or SCI related? Like bladder and bowel. When he first woke from his coma he was so mad he couldn't get to the bathroom because of his physical injuries but he said he had to go, both. He has had feeling in his bowels but had been cathed for bladder up until this week. We are doing the bladder training and he can push urine out but now can't seem to feel his BMs at all. He recently had an internal bleed in his right hip area, Doc thinks maybe that affected his feeling in the area. I know his butt has been numb because he can't quite feel the bedpan, but he does have control of the anal sphincter, he can push a BM out when he is told there is one there.

    So I don't know if it is the TBI causing the bladder problem or the burst fracture. This is so frustrating. I hate hearing wait and see!

    Can an L1 burst control the anal sphincter? Can they push pee out? If so can this get better? I am afraid it will get worse but I have no reason to believe it will, just got a case of the negatives today and no one to talk to that understands. Thanks for any feedback.

  • #2
    only time will tell. i cannot tell sometimes, nearly 28yrs later, what's sci and what's tbi. each person is so different
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"


    • #3
      Has he had urodynamics studies for his bladder?? This is the best way to determine how much of his neurogenic bladder (and usually bowel) is related to TBI (if any) and how much to SCI.

      Bowel, bladder and sexual function is highly related to the S2-4 cord segments and roots, but also to T10-L1. The fracture location is less important than the actual neurologic cord damage. What is his ASIA level and AIS type?

      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.


      • #4
        Actually I do not know the AISA or AIS, I don't know much. We have been trying to get out of Alaska for several months. Finally leaving this Thursday and will be able to find quality care and rehab in the Minneapolis area.

        Yes, he has feeling in his legs. He can lift his stump leg, wiggle toes bend his foot at the ankle, up and down, bend his knee. He can feel his butt 'itch' and he feels when his bladder is full. He can pee but has to push. He pees every two hours, unless he is sleeping we go four hours. It seems to be getting better but that may be my wishful thinking. He doesn't feel the cath but feels his penis. I just don't understand how he could tell me he had to have a BM until he had an internal bleed in his right hip muscle are, now he can't feel a BM at all.

        In Alaska, there aren't a lot of options for medical care. You get what they have.