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Thread: Semi-Paralysis in Biceps, Deltoids

  1. #11

    The surgeon specifically said that the swelling had disappeared, so I don't think that's what the high signal means. Thank you for sharing your success story. My right hand and arm are significantly better than my left; I am right-handed so this is fortunate. Yes, just being able to resist gravity would be wonderful. How long did it take you to recover?

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Dublin, Ireland
    My right is probably still improving 5 years on, but my left arm which always had a 0 strength rating never did recover, they began to treat it more as a brachial plexus injury , did ecg tests on the nerves to see what was firing, (nothing was on my left) and eventually 3 years after moved my lattissimus dorsi muscle from my left shoulder into my left arm to give more function, it sort of helped a little and gave my left shoulder more stability. Still if you are making measurable progress in the early days it sounds good for longterm prognosis.

  3. #13
    I sent the surgeon my December MRI on CD; he only had the radiologist's report before. He called and told me that the spinal cord is still swollen, but nothing like it was post op. He also told me that the high signal was a sign of damage to the spinal cord from a stroke.

    I am now six months post-op and each month brings slight improvements. I can now use my arms to push myself off the floor or crawl on my hands and knees. I still cannot raise my arms so I cannot bathe or dress myself above the waist. I can only prepare the simplest things to eat.

  4. #14
    I continue to improve very, very slowly, but today two things happened that showed me I have come a long way.

    First of all, I went to a routine doctor appointment with a new doctor, mainly to get non-spinal-related prescriptions renewed. When she put out her hand for me to shake, she saw I struggled to bring mine up and so I told her my spinal story. She examined my arm reflexes (yep, they're there!) and felt my right bicep as I attempted to pull her arm forward: I DID actually pull her forward AND she said it is firing although the firing is a little delayed. She then did the left: same thing, but to a lesser extent. Wow, six months ago, I could pull nothing.

    Next I went to my daughter's house and was accidentally tripped outside by my grandson, who is 23 months old. This happened at the foot of concrete stairs. Down I went, in the direction of the stairs and fully expected that my face would hit the stairs. (I fell twice last fall and both times my face crashed into the floor or ground as I was unable to break my fall.) Instead without my realizing it, my arm went out and my right palm and wrist broke the fall, causing me to land on the ground in a sitting position instead of face down. I have a bruised hand and knee, but I was able to automatically protect myself with my right hand!

    She also referred me to a physical therapist who specializes in spinal cord injuries and I have an appointment tomorrow with him.

    It has been almost ten months since my surgery and subsequent spinal cord injury. I have come a long way, but still cannot raise my arms, making bathing and dressing above the waist very difficult. However, all things considered, I am very fortunate.

  5. #15
    Thanks for the update. I hope that you can continue to improve with both return and more therapy. Keep us updated on your progress.


  6. #16
    It has been almost a year since my incomplete C5 injury. My biceps, deltoids, and rotator cuffs continue to be more or less useless. I am doing the exercises prescribed by a physical therapist. I do continue to improve very very slowly, but I am ready to do something else. So what is next? There are things I cannot do but perhaps could do in a different way. Where do I go to learn to adapt? And what treatments are out there that might help? Acupuncture? Biofeedback? What about some kind of prosthetic device that might help me raise my arms? I do not know where to go to get these answers or receive suggestions.

    I am near Spokane, Washington.

  7. #17


    Hi, there are items that could help you in the shower to get those hard to reach places, long handled scrubbers, etc. They're available at medical supply stores, the workers should be able to help you out - if you go to a 'good' place the workers will listen to your 'problems' and help you come up with solutions.
    Congrats on your progress, God Bless & Keep it up!

  8. #18
    Kari, my son uses the Bowflex PR1000 (low end model) to work on his upper body. We bought it from Nautilus HQ in Vancouver, Wa. Occupation therapist should be able to help you to learn to adapt the new way to do thing.

  9. #19
    Hi Coleen, I was given long handled things in the hospital. They are not very helpful to me as my hands hang straight down. I cannot raise my arms at all so the devices also point straight down. I will try a medical supply store and see what they recommend.

    Timo, thanks for the Bowflex recommendation. I will check it out.

  10. #20
    Kari, are you seeing an OT who can help you with appropriate adaptive equipment, exercises, etc.? Have you had a recent exam to determine if you are getting any return at all that could be facilitated by electrical stimulation? Have you tried using a Swedish Aid? Mobile Arm supports? How is your hand function?


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