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Thread: My brother Bud........

  1. #1

    My brother Bud........

    had an accident at work today. He head was cut open in the back but that is minor compared with his C6 Break. His daughter tells me that he has a break of the C6, but no spinal cord injury, which I understand is good. He is in surgery now to have a rod placed and to drain excess fluid off the spinal cord. I read that he may possibly just come out of this with poor hand movement. Am I reading correctly.

    Thanks for any answers and assurance I may get.


  2. #2
    If he truely has only a fracture of his spine, and on cord or nerve root damage or any other injuries, he should ultimately have no impairment except possibly some in his neck range of motion (due to the surgery required to stabilize the fracture).

    It will be critical that he have a good ASIA exam to determine if there is indeed any neurologic injury or not. Is he in a major trauma center? Where?


  3. #3
    He is in Champaign, IL at Carle Hospital. I understand that Chicago or St Louis would have been better possibly. I am sure that since it was an on job accident the workers comp insurance company made the decision. And my sister in law, probably just went with the hospital recomendation, not knowing she could have requested different.

    How long will it take to determine if there is spinal cord injury? Is this something that can be determined immediately?

    The message I got from my niece is that if the surgery they perfomed last evening went 100%, they hope he may walk but have limited use of his hands.

    I am going up today and I will have more information to share after I actually see him.

    I just so appreciate this site. I am so confused now but I want to be able to provide educated support to him and his family. I know that if the mental attitude is a good and positive one, healing happens quicker!!

    Thanks for your help and concern, and I will post additional info as it becomes available.

  4. #4
    One of my brothers stopped by this morning and updated me on the surgery events of last evening. He was there when Bud had surgery.

    He had a major avulsion on the back of his head and that took them 2 hours to stitch. They placed a rod into the area of the c6 break and drained fluid from the spinal cord area. They found that there was not as much fluid as they had originally thought. I am not sure if thats good or bad.......

    They are talking about transferring him to a rehab hospital in St Louis, but I am not sure yet which one or when. The doctor says that it is not just a wait and see game to see how he progresses.

  5. #5
    It sounds like he may actually have a spinal cord injury. You need to ask if he has central cord syndrome, which results in more impairment in the arms and hands and less impairment in the legs.

    If he has Worker's Comp he should have a catastrophic case manager assigned to him. Insist on talking to this person (or getting one assigned if not yet assigned). He needs the best rehab, and that would be someplace like RIC (Chicago), Craig (Denver) or Shepherd Center (Atlanta). Distance should not be a factor in choosing the best program for his needs. Don't just go with a local or convenient program.

    Please ask them to get the results of his ASIA exam. A reputable hospital will have someone who knows how to do this (neurosurgeon, physiatrist, neurologist, etc.).


  6. #6
    I guess in the surgery last evening they did find some spinal cord damage they had not found before. I have heard about the Chicago rehab and I will definately mention that to his wife. I believe they do have an assignment of a case worker. And you are right, distance should not be a deciding factor. I am going up at 3 pm. They are not going to let him wake up before that. I will let you know more then.


  7. #7
    He was running a slight fever this evening and feeling rather tired, but that is to be expected. He had some good arm movement but his hands can't grasp. They seem to be swollen, and we are not sure why. He keeps saying that his hands are asleep, so he must be experiencing a strange feeling sensation in them. He still has not felt any sensations or feelings in his legs. He says it is as if they are not even there, but the doctors seem more concerned at this point about his hands.

    In the surgery last evening they did find some spinal cord damage in addition to the broken C6. They are classifiying his injury now as a complete spinal cord injury but they still believe that with the proper rehab he will make remarkable progress!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm sorry your brother was injured. I hope the very best in his recovery.

  9. #9
    Move him as soon as possible. Good rehab will not cure that damage already done to his spinal cord. It will teach him how to maximize what he has left, and hopefully he will get more return, but that is luck of the draw, not dependent on rehab. It doesn't sound like they have much experience or practical knowledge of SCI there.

    Since he is much more impaired that you first told us, family and he will also need to be very aggressive in making sure they don't let him get any pressure ulcers (bed sores). This occurs very quickly if not properly prevented, and can keep him out of rehab. Insist on a specialty bed (low air loss), and turning at least every 2 hours. A family member must learn how to inspect his skin twice daily, ideally together with a nurse, and insist action is taken immediately if he has any pinkness, purpleness or other abnormal skin color, esp. if it does not fade within 20 minutes after turning off that side.

    You and his family will have to push and push and push and advocate for him until he can do so for himself. Don't give in or give up.


  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Spring Hill , Florida

    Sorry to Hear About Your Brother's Accident

    I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's accident. I wish him the best in his recovery. It's important that he get the best rehab possible as it will affect him in life if he doesn't get the best there is. Glad that SCI Nurse KLD has chimed in. She is one of he best there is. KLD knows her stuff. She works at a spinal cord center. So she sees it every day she is at work. Sorry you had to find this site but glad that you did. Welcome to Care Cure. You can always contact Dr. Wise Young also who is we have to thank for developing this site. He's located at Rutgers University in Rutgers New Jersey.

    Is your brother by chance a Veteran? If he is & if you havn't already done so you should contact the nearest Paralyzed Veterans of America Service Office. There is also a Veterans Forum here on this site & Veteran Advisor is the moderator & he has a spinal cord injury. He was injured when he was in the Marine Corp. If your brother is a Veteran he should become a member of the Veterans Forum. There are also some very good VA SCI Centers in the country & KLD can advise which ones are the best ones.

    Please keep us all posted here on your brothers progress.

    Take care of yourself your brother needs your strength & support.

    Bob S.
    Oldsmar, Fl

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