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    My daughter is 4 months post injury and I have a few questions that I was hoping someone could answer. She fractured her C2/3 and was diagnosed as a C3AISA C after her surgery. She was on a ventilator, but has been off of it for two months. She has pretty much normal movement in her left arm/hand and leg, but not normal strength. Her right leg has not quite normal movement and is weaker than her left leg. Her right arm has some biceps (I think a 3) and a little triceps, however; she has so much tone that it is difficult to get functional movement out of that arm/hand at all. My question is this: Is there still time for her to recover more strength? They talk about recovery times, and I was wondering what the recovery period for strength is. Also, is tone something she will have to deal with the rest of her life, or is there a possiblity that it will subside with time and she will regain some functional movement with her right arm/hand. She has been walking with the aid of a crutch for about 4 weeks, but her balance is not great and needs a spotter just in case. In order to be able to walk any great distance, I am seeing she will definitely need more strength and endurance and just hope that there is still time for her to recover some of that.

    I'm sorry if this is disjointed. She has only been home a few days, and I am quickly realizing what a job caretaking is. It makes me appreciate all the great nurses she had even more!


    Everything that you describe sounds very hopeful. People with incomplete spinal cord injury of the type that you describe should recover substantially and that recovery should continue for a year or more.

    Based on your description, it sounds like your daughter has a high Brown-Sequard Syndrome with a component of central cord syndrome. Let me explain this a little bit more.

    A Brown-Sequard syndrome occurs when one side of the spinal cord has been injured. The side that is injured tends to have motor spasticity and weakness, reduced touch and position sensation. This suggests that she had a right-side injury. Note that her left leg and arm should have reduced pain and temperature sensation.

    A Central Cord Syndrome is a situation where the person has more impairment of the arms than the legs. For a long time, this was thought to be related to an injury to the central part of the spinal cord. However, some recent studies suggest that the syndrome may be more related to damage of the lateral columns and corticospinal tract. The mechanisms doesn't matter but the fact that she is walking on a crutch now is consistent with a Central Cord Syndrome.

    Please ask questions about the care because we have so many experienced people on this site who can help with first-hand experience with spinal cord injury, as well as (in my opinion) the best spinal nurses in the country at this site.

    I am very hopeful that your daughter will recover so much that most people may not know that she has been spinal-injured. She is a good candidate for treadmill training as well aa the walking that she is doing.



      Hi, Helpr, and welcome to our community; although all of us here wish we had met under much different circumstances!

      In addition to the 'Wise' advice below, I would like to invite you to visit our caregivers forum, where you will find a wonderful group of family members who share feelings, blow off steam, and give and get advice from each other.

      If you could get your daughter involved in the forums also, she'd find not only a wealth of useful information, but also a community who truly understands her feelings.

      Best of luck, and keep in touch with the forums here.


      Tough times don't last - tough people do.