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Thread: Back swelling at break point... should I go to ER??

  1. #1

    Back swelling at break point... should I go to ER??

    Okay I am going to try and take a picture of it in a few minutes.

    Basically my back had been swelling a bit right above my break point T11. Over the past few days though it has doubled in size, and yesterday morning it was kinda scary looking. By my estimates (counting screws) the swelling runs from approximately T8 to T10. My break was a T11 burst fracture a little over a year ago, but I have no feeling below T6, so I have no idea what is going on down there. This swelling area is also right where the top of my crappy sling seat back hits my back, which may or may not have anything to do with it.

    So I figured I would go to the doctor today (of course no one is in the doctors office the day after christmas). So I am trying to decide if I need to go to the ER or should just wait till monday.

    A family member (with no medical experience whatsoever) seems to think that it might be this http://www.webmd.com/brain/syringomyelia-10931.
    But I have my doubts since that seems to be a cyst on the spinal cord, not outside of the spine.

    I'd love to hear from SCI nurse or anyone who's had a problem like this before.

    I will try to get a good picture of it and post it up in the next few minutes.

  2. #2
    Ok apparently the site was down for a couple hours or something.

    I went to an ortho urgent care center and they said I have a huge pool of blood in my back... thats probably not good. Oh well, I go see a real doc on monday.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    Ok apparently the site was down for a couple hours or something.

    I went to an ortho urgent care center and they said I have a huge pool of blood in my back... thats probably not good. Oh well, I go see a real doc on monday.
    What did they want you to do for it???
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gurly2356 View Post
    What did they want you to do for it???
    See a real doc.

    They sucked out some of the fluid, saw that it was healthy looking blood, ran some tests on it and took some xrays. Then told me to make an appointment with my regular ortho doc.

    I guess he is the one who is gonna figure out how to stop the blood?

    Oh and they wanted me to put ice on it.... not gonna happen, its hard enough staying off of my back, how am i gonna stay off my back and strap some ice to it AND make sure i dont give myself frostbite!

  5. #5
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    You might have bumped it or banged it a good one. I've had the same problem with a knee from HS football...it'll swell up with blood and a little pus when I bang it on something. In HS, they'd just drain it and put me in the whirlpool. But be sure see a neurologist to have a pro look at it.
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  6. #6
    it might be something like that, rdf. I dont think I banged it into anything (but would I really notice?). However it is right where my seatback hits me, so that could be agrivating it. And since I finished this semester, I have spent a lot more time "reclined" on my back (leaning my chair up against the couch or the bed).

  7. #7
    Sounds more like an abscess or deep pressure ulcer. I hope they sent the fluid they drained for a culture. You could have a significant infection, as without further trauma simple bleeding there would be rare. See your spine surgeon ASAP.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    However it is right where my seatback hits me, so that could be agrivating it.
    Drop (or raise) your seat back immediately. Do not use your chair again until you've removed that 'pressure' point. No matter what the docs do to that spot, it won't heal until you get rid of the irritation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    I'm sorry this is happening to you.
    I hope you get it resolved quickly and it heals fast.
    (btw the board was down till mid evening)

    God luck and God bless you.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by flicka View Post
    Drop (or raise) your seat back immediately. Do not use your chair again until you've removed that 'pressure' point. No matter what the docs do to that spot, it won't heal until you get rid of the irritation.
    I raised the back on my chair, but it only went up another 3" or so, so it still puts some pressure on the spot, but hopefully not so much.

    BCBS is supposed to be getting me a new roho seatback, but if they dont come thru before January, I will have to try and convince medicaid to get it for me, which will probably take another 6 months or so... slingbacks are pieces of #$^%!

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