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C4-C5 incomplete

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    C4-C5 incomplete

    I was injured in a diving accident in June 2006, so I guess I'm still a relatively new injury.

    Doctors originally diagnosed me as a C4 C5 complete, and told me not to expect any movement below my shoulders. But after retesting me one week before my discharge from Craig Hospital, I was upgraded from an Asia a complete to an Asia b incomplete.

    Four months later, all I have to show from my hard work and therapy are some weak triceps and a little bit of upper ab movement. I'm starting to get extremely frustrated due to the lack of wrist and hand movement. Any thoughts on improving these areas?.

    The main goal I had after therapy was to be independent in a manual chair. I'm lucky enough to have my old middle school give me access to their gym when it's not in use so during the winter months I have an open area to go and push around. I started a couple months ago, and can barely make it to half court before having to stop and rest. The last time I went I was able to make it down and back six times in a little over half an hour. I guess my question is how much is too much? How often should I be getting in my manual chair?

    Also, when I left Craig it was with a donated chair, a quickie 2. I'm beginning to realize it wasn't fitted for me with the intentions of me pushing myself around. It seems as though the wheels are too far back. How far forward should the axles sit underneath my butt?

    I'm glad I finally found these forums, and have already had a lot of my questions answered simply by lurking in the last couple of days.
    "All of us are all too stuck strapped to a chair watching our lives blow up..."

    frustrating isn't it.... I had a rapid burst of returns, now six months post injury, I'm going through a dry spell. The consensus seems to be a two year or so window of recovery so I try not to freak out.


      Are you using emotion wheels? If not, these will make all the difference for you! Do a search on carecure and you will find out lots of info about them. Craig may have loaners that you can try. You'll love them!

      Good luck,
      Brighter days


        You can find some good resources on wheelchair fit and pushing mechanics from these resources:

        Preservation of Upper Limb Function Following Spinal Cord Injury

        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.


          Welcome to Care Cure. I'm a little above you for injury level, but I agree with what has been said. The longer out from injury, the more difficult recovery becomes. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll get more response from others.
          C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.


            As a C4-5 incomplete (1983), I have found that as soon as I stop trying to improve my condition, it begins to worsen. Don't quit.