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L1 break

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    L1 break


    I fell six weeks ago (1/15/07). Xray and CT revealed a stable compression fracture of L1 with 50% lost height. The neurosurgeon prescribed painkillers and a "clamshell" brace at all times except when bathing or lying flat. After five weeks I am completely off the pain meds. I am uncomfortable in the morning (until I have the brace back on for awhile) but am usually able to sleep six or more hours-a vast improvement over the last couple of weeks.

    The surgeon describes my case a falling into a grey area between having stabilizing surgery and conservative management. He has released me to return to work with a thirty-pound lifting restriction. I'm scared.

    I have read all the posts I could find here and elsewhere related to similar breaks and would like to hear other's experiences months and years post injury. Thanks

    Welcome to our forums. You are lucky. Unlike most of the people here who had an injury like yours and are now paralyzed, it appears that you did not have any neurologic impairment or cord damage due to your fracture.

    Stable fractures often will heal with immobilization. Of course good diet is very important to aid healing, as is the avoidance of smoking or other tobacco use, and avoiding NSAIDs if possible during the healing period. It is actually better to wear your brace all the time except for washing...that way you are not tempted to move in ways that are not allowed (usually flexion, extension and twisting are the worst movements).

    If you are concerned, I would recommend getting another opinion, from either another neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal problems, or from an orthopedic spine specialist.

    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.


      You very lucky. I would be nervous in your position too. I would do as KLD suggested and get as many second , third, fourth, opinions as is neccessry to make you feel secure in the decision that was made. I would hate to have such a "lucky break" turn sour because doctors were being dumb again. Trust me, they are far from perfect. Sorry Dr Wise, your not on that list, lol.

      Best of luck!!!

      T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
      since 1/3/04

      I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!


        You never mentioned if you had any symptoms? Loss of feeling etc.