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Thread: T-12 injury last week need info

  1. #1

    T-12 injury last week need info


    My fiance had an accident last Sunday and surgeon said it was a t-12 injury. They performed surgery and said the cord was not completely severed and said there is a small chance he might be able to walk again. He now has 8 screws and 3 rods in his back, and they also used part of his hip bone to seize the vertebrae together. I have been in the hospital with him every day and he is doing really well. He got a little bit of feeling back in his right upper leg, however nothing on his left side as of yet.

    He also got an erection for the first time this morning and said he could feel it a little bit but had no control over it.

    His right foot is also cold often, so i have been massaging his legs and moving his toes around a couple times a day. I don't know if this helps at all but he seems less stiff now.

    As this just happened we do not have a lot of answers as what is yet to come.

    I would really appreciate if anyone with more info can give me some tips, advise and what not to help him out.

  2. #2
    Swissmiss.... This sounds almost exactly where I am... and have been.... I had a T12 burst fracture 1 1/2 years ago. I was told there was a very, very small chance I could walk again. I have touch sensation in my upper right leg. I can feel cold on that same area also. I didn't have the cold, touch sensation until probably 2 months after the accident. So, that is great he has some feeling back so soon. I still have nothing still on the left side. Both of my feet get cold, mostly my left. I can tell you he does appreciate everything you are doing for him.

    There is a long road ahead. But, I can say, you adjust and things are just wonderful for me now. Sure, there are many obsticales, but life goes on.

    Someone told me shortly after the accident that you will feel 100% better in a year. Believe me, what he said is what kept me going. And, it was true.

    I do enjoy a saying that was given to me when my Dad passed away..... "Life is not what it is supposed to be, it is what it is, and how you deal with it is what makes all the difference."

    I wish you the best and if you have any specific questions, I can try to help.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Geoffrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    Sorry to hear, welcome to the carecure site. Sounds like he is a T12 Incomplete. has some feelings in different places.
    Lots of great information right here. All you have to do is ask the questions and you will get answers.

    I noticed that you are in Ontario so make sure you contact the Canadian Paraplegic Association. is the ontario site is the national site

    out in Alberta we have a guy - Russ Bray that goes around filming different people and what they are doing.
    You will find me under Housing Modifications and the Career/Education - go to the last one in that section.
    It is a great site to view what people are up to.

    Geoffrey Olsen

  4. #4
    Right now the most important thing is to get him to a specialty SCI rehab program as soon as possible, and to prevent the complications such as pressure ulcers and DVT that can be prevented.

    Along those lines, please don't massage his legs! He is at high risk for clots in his legs at this stage, and massage can break off a clot (which can be present even if he is on anticoagulants to prevent them) and cause a possibly fatal pulmonary embolus. Instead, learn to help him with ROM (range of motion) exercises which can be helpful. A physical therapist (physio) can help teach you to do this the correct way.

    Welcome to CareCure. Come back and ask questions, and get your fiance on-line here as soon as you can as well.


  5. #5
    You can start by going to and reading their information for the newly injured, it is on the lower right hand side. Also, you can send an email and set up a telephone appointment or simply call 800-539-7309 from 9 am to 5 pm ET, Monday thru Friday. An Information Specialist can provide you with information and resources. There is also a link on the home page to their factsheets , you can find a document for Canada listed.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  6. #6
    Call cheesecake!

    My daughter is a T12 ASIA A Complete. Injuried 11-9-08. She didn't get any movement back until 8 weeks out. She now has movement to her knee in her left and seems like something might be coming back in her right. The doctors are very surprised she has anything. She has a little feeling in her upper left thigh after surgery, but no-one would comment on it. She is now at a L1 functional level.

    Cheesecake is a great resource.

  7. #7
    Senior Member FasterNow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Wyandotte, MI
    Hi swissmiss,

    There is an incredible amount of information on this site. As SCI-Nurse KLD suggests, try to get your finance here soon.

    One thing you will see over and over is advise to protect against pressure ulcers. This is very important because with reduced sensory function we just don't get the normal warning signs that we've been in one position too long or have something irritating our bodies. I developed pressure sores (ulcers) on the backs of both heels because the top edge of my sneaker(s) was rolled in. It's these little things that can lead to doctor visits, infections, and worse. Rolling over in bed is probably tough for your fiance to do by himself right now so make sure he has help and that this is done every two hours. Once he gets to sitting for long periods in a wheelchair, he'll be doing pressure relief there as well.

    Good luck to both of you!
    Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
    Please join me and donate a dollar a day at and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

  8. #8
    your right about the year part... felt like hell until about 1 year and few months then everything gets back on track.... it is hard teh first time you come outta hospital. Aslong as you set yourself little goals and work towards them you will be ok.

  9. #9
    Thank you very much for all the information and links. It is hard for me to get online right now as i am spending most of my time in the hospital with him. I will stop massaging his legs, thank you SO much for this information. I have been working with the physical therapist as well and they have showed me a few ranges i can do as well during the day.

    I stay with him overnight, and help him turn to the side a lot. So far he has no sores on his back and the rehab lady came to see him today and looked at his skin and said it was fine. He is waiting for a bed at the rehab clinic and they have moved him on the top of the list now and should be getting there by the end of this week or early next week.

    He is unfortunately not feeling too well right now. his bowels are not moving and its making him very nauseous. We thought it was the meds at first because they switched his meds, however now they are saying he is constipated and he will need an enema every couple of days.

    He says he has a lot of tingling in his legs, is that normal?

    he also sweats a lot and then gets cold, we constantly have to change his sheets and robe. It seems to be getting a little bit better now though.

    thanks again for all the information. I will try to get as much information as i can.

    Also wanted to ask about curled toes. I read something about that, is there anything i can do right now to help him with that?

  10. #10
    Senior Member FasterNow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Wyandotte, MI
    He should be getting checked twice a day for pressure ulcers. If you notice any red spots after he is turned check to see that the red color goes away within a short period (minutes). Places to watch are the tailbone, ischials, ankle bones, and heels. Sitting in bed at more than a thirty degree incline (check on the exact number, not sure if my memory is all that great) is not good for extended periods. Is he using pressure relief boots on his feet?

    The first two weeks were really hard for me to eat. It felt like my guts were at a loss as to what to do with the food I was eating. I literally had to force the food down, and lost it more than once due to nausea. Eating became easier over time, though learning how food I used to eat with no problems whatsoever could now cause problems took some time.

    Not sure if tingling in the legs is common. The sensation I experienced was what others have referred to as similar to a fluorescent bulb flickering to life (but not staying lit). I still have that sensation a little over a couple years later.

    Hopefully someone has some suggestions for the curling toes. One thing I can do now, that I couldn't for the first couple months post injury, is get a reflex action in my feet/toes. If I lightly flick my fingernails on the tops of my feet toward my toes they will lift up. If I lightly flick my fingernails on the bottom of my feet toward my toes they curl down. I don't think this would be a good 'therapy' to keep the toes from curling but he may be able to use this in other ways. For example, when I am taking a shower, I point the shower spray at my toes and they lift up. I do this for a couple minutes per foot every shower. It's not much, but I feel like it helps.
    Injured 7-22-06, T-11 T-12 complete. [Holds up cardboard sign] "Will work for returns."
    2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
    Please join me and donate a dollar a day at and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

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