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  • New T12 SCI

    Perhaps some one could give me a little advice on neurological nerve recovery here concerning my SCI. Most specifically the duration it takes for nerve growth to occur. I am a T12 Incomplete which occurred 21 Aug 04. I had a T12 burst fracture with a bone fragment going 6mm into the left side of my spinal column. According to a recent MRI I had there is a 1cm cyst on my spinal cord as a result of the accident.

    I was told that all the recover I would make would take 18 month. Currently I can walk with a cane with my left leg having all muscle movement, but I have to wear a AFO on my right leg due to foot drop. Both legs are weak with my left leg being the strongest. Feeling is almost all there on my right leg with little feeling in my left leg below the knee. My feet on the other hand feel like my shoes are too tight though.

    I should consider myself lucky as how I read how other people are doing with a T12 SCI as well, but any comments would be helpful.

  • #2
    Welcome Pluto

    Conider yourself LUCKY!!
    I myself had a T-12 burst fracture and am 2 years post as of April 6 2005. It is great you can get around like you can. How is your bowel and bladder fuction. I am still recovering everyday and started theropy with KAFO's a few weeks ago and it is leading to return in my hip flexers and some sensation. Just keep in shape and use what you got as you are on the road to recovery. Never give up.

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    • #3
      Thank you

      Bowel and Bladder are ok, 80% Bowel and 90% Bladder. I look at it as being a 70 year old man, I.e. when I have to go I better go!

      About getting around as I do, well I really had no choice. I live on the second floor of a apartment building with 25 stairs to my apartment. So after a month of going up butt first I just had to suck it up and try to walk up hanging on to the railing and using a quad cane. I have not been to therapy now for about 3 month, but on the other hand trying to get around and living life is therapy enough.

      Now for the million dollar question. Is there a test that can be done to really tell you how much of your spinal cord is left? I hear all you need is 10% to walk. With a lot of motivation of course! But is there something that they can perform to tell you that you "really have" 10%, 30% etc left for a person to work with.

      I had to motivate myself to get were I am at, but I have seen a lot of people in rehab just give up trying anymore. I have quit trying myself after all more than once, but I had no choice but to keep trying.

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      • #4
        What is your actual neurologic level and completeness of injury? With a T12 fracture it is likely that your cord damage is in the lower lumbar or upper sacral area of the cord. This should be established by both sensory and manual muscle testing, which should be repeated several times annually over your first couple of years post injury. Many people continue to improve (although more slowly) long after 18 months post injury.

        Only time will tell for your specific case. You are very fortunate to have such good bowel and bladder function with this injury location. Therapy can maximize the return you have or that you get in the future, but no one can predict if you will continue to get more return or not.

        Not sure where you got that 10% number, but if you are incomplete, you can get by with an amazing amount of cord damage. I doubt if 10% would give you entirely normal function though.

        (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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        • #5
          test

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          • #6
            pluto - are you from Tampa? I met a guy in the VA a few months ago who sounds just like you - even the stairs at the apartment.

            We started a thread a while ago on T12/L1's and the different levels of return are amazing. I can find the link if you can't find it and are interested. You are lucky with the amount of return you've gotten.

            Mike

            T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003
            T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, please post the link. As I understand it the T11 -12 to L1 is a very common injury level and I'm sure a lot of people with this level of injury would like to see the link

              Unfortunately I have not seen any answers to the questions that I have asked before. The neurological level and completeness of my injury as asked before has tended to improve from the time I left therapy I.e. while laying on my left side three month ago I could not raise my right leg were as now I could 75% raise it in relationship to my left leg. I would say a ASIA level D motor level with sensory level as numb, sort of, below parts of the knee.

              I have taken what is called I believe a EMG test were they put electrodes at different parts of my leg and measure a output current waveform vs. a input current waveform a few month ago, and the doctor said my nerve response was half normal in my left leg all together with a .01% or 1/100th normal in one muscle group in my lower right leg. This might be the reason for my right foot drop.

              Has anyone taken this type of test more than once and seen any improvement over time?

              By the way I live in the Chicago land area (Suburbs)

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              • #8
                Pluto, guess you aren't the guy I met at the VA; but it is uncanny how much you have in common. Here is the thread I was referring to: T12/L1

                We all recover differently - like I said before you seem to be doing very well. I never had the emg test done - even though several therapists mentioned it to me. They did try e-stim on me and it didn't work - which seems to be another commonality among T12's/L1's.

                Mike

                T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003
                T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

                Comment


                • #9
                  I too live near Chicago? Where do you go for therapy? Is it perhaps R.I.C.?
                  Ed T-10 complete

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                  • #10
                    My name is Jackie and I am new here. I am paraplegic, incomplete though and so the recovery period and chances were important to me. My injury was just over three years ago. I went to rehab at Craig, in Denver, CO. I was told that the average time frame for improvements was 2 years. I am completely wheelchair bound and have no movement in my legs. In the first couple years I did regain some lower back muscle, hip muscle and ab movement but not a lot. I think the lower back muscle helps me the most. In the past year I haven't noticed any additional improvements. I have no bowel or bladder use and that has not changed either. I think being incomplete is a mixed blessing because it does leave us hoping, which is a good thing but at the same time it was hard for me to see other incomplete patient start to walk when I was making no progress. It sounds like you have a lot of ablities and are doing really well. I always explore any test that are available but have really just focused on learning to live with my body right now, because it is what I know. I didn't want to waste time by just getting by and expecting to improve and so I was just thrilled when I realized I could suck my stomach in a little bit or flex my hip muscle. I have had wonderful doctors and support and so I really just try to accept where I am at and not count on anything changing and just learning to live like this. Because, as hard and unfair as it is, we can live happy lives with these injuries. But, two years was the improvement time frame I was given and that seemed to be what happened with. As others have already said though it is so different from one person to the next and I have heard some pretty amazing stories. Best wishes to you, Jackie.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pluto64:

                      I was told that all the recover I would make would take 18 month. Currently I can walk with a cane with my left leg having all muscle movement, but I have to wear a AFO on my right leg due to foot drop. Both legs are weak with my left leg being the strongest. Feeling is almost all there on my right leg with little feeling in my left leg below the knee.
                      Welcome, Pluto64--a couple of things:

                      First, ignore that 18month bs. They don't know what will happen when or to whom. They only know what the probability of something happening is. And so you have to just assume that you'll be outside the curve and give everything you've got to recovering as much as you can.

                      Second, you might have the kind of injury called Brown-Sequard, which means that your cord is damaged mostly on one side. The reason I say this is that in Brown-Sequard, there's usually good motor on one side and good sensation on the other.

                      My husband has this, as do several others on these boards. His injury is at c6, but he also walks with a cane, and continues to make small gains after 4 years.

                      The majority of people with Brown-Sequard do recover walking, but often require intensive pt to get there. So, keep after it! Here'sa link to a post Bruce made that shows his setup at our house.

                      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

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                      • #12
                        Pluto...I'm an L1 burst fracture. I was pretty similar to where you are after a year. Through lots of exercize and PT I can walk pretty well unassisted. I started out w/ a cane but haven't needed it for 6 months now. I am 3 1/2 years post injury and am still getting return. My bowel, bladder and sex is still a problem as is the neuropathic pain, but I'm getting by w/ meds for that. Check out the T12 thread that MikeC posted, it has a lot on info.

                        Kap

                        accept no substitutes
                        accept no substitutes

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                        • #13
                          Are you walking better now?

                          In response to Pluto64, are you walking better now since your injury?

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                          • #14
                            T12, you realize that this thread is over 6 years old, right? The people posting may not still be frequenting our forums. You may want to start your own thread and ask questions specific to your needs. Welcome to our forums!

                            (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

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