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Thread: L1 incomplete Injury

  1. #11
    Senior Member RJP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    L1 incomplete

    I agree with others each injury is different. I am 2.5 yrs post and I still seth cath and bowel stem so I would have to say time will tell. I never really had pain in the back but nerve pain down the leg all the time. Just keep plugging along and once again time will tell. Welcome and too bad you needed this site. Good Luck.
    What ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    North Dakota
    Hi, I am a L1 incomplete, injured 12/20/2009. I am still in rehab center and am able to take some steps with walker, bowel program is working some what, not very consistant, am getting some drug to get my bladder to contract but have yet been able to pass water, always need to self cath. Drugs seem to make me feel latharject and not very hungry. Any ideas?

  3. #13
    Otis, your injury is still really new. My son is an L1 incomplete too. It just takes time. We did find that the hospital tended to over medicate him and that didn't help. You might let one of the SCI nurses here know more about your situation and weigh in on it.

    The fact that you are able to use a walker this soon out is great.

    Best wishes.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

  4. #14
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    welcome to carecure.

  5. #15
    Hey all,
    good to find you here, get some support and hopefully some answers.
    My boyfriend had a burst fracture L1 after a riding accident 1 month ago.
    His motoric movement was very good right after accident (Quads 5/5, Hamstrings 5/5 Calves 4/5 Gluts 5/5 Dorsi flex 3/5). 4 days after the surgery (no laminectomy but cage th12-l2 as compression of 40% due to bruise and burst fragment- but with enough space in spinal canal) and after removing the catheter we realised that he had urinary retention, bowels were semifunctioning. He is selfcathertherizing now- bowels program does the trick. He can go for a walk for 30 min without crutches- what is amazing. So in terms of movement we gather he will regain full recovery. (motoric nerves take up to 1.5 years to recover..)What sucks are the parasympathetic/ autonomic nerves to bowels/bladder/genitals - so unpredictable.
    He can have a semierection- but is not able to ejaculate- his penis does hurt.
    He has some sensational loss bilateral in his buttocks.
    When you consult Dr.Google there is always the diagnosis "Conus medullaris syndome" that I can gather out of these symptoms. This syndrome has not been diagnosed by his consultat. (they always say unpredictable nerval damage...) By looking on sientific papers there are some conus syndromes without lower extremity involvement.
    There are not that many papers about conus syndome anyway- does that mean it does not happen that often- or frequently stays undiagnosed- or is the recovery so good that science/medical eduction does not bother too much?

    Is there anybody out there who regained the ability to ejaculate?

    You often read about improvement of bowels and bladder over time.

    Courage to all of you- the good thing about accidents- chances of improvement are huge- chances of deterioration are minimal...Keep the spirits up.

  6. #16
    Dinah, you and yours are very lucky to have the mobility you have. Your prognosis is very good. I wish you all the luck in the world going forward.


  7. #17
    dinah - xd,
    I am sorry about your boyfriends misfortune yet happy that he has shown such promising recovery at this point. The bowel, bladder nerves are so very sensitive to injury. Only time will tell what he will regain. I will hope for the best.
    My understanding is that the conus injuries are not so common because the conus is usually lower than the L1 vertebra and the L1 injury to the cord is usually above the conus part of the spinal cord. I am a burst L1 fracture myself and I had such a 'short' spinal cord that the injury in my case was in the cauda equina, below the conus.
    But whatever the statistics are, an individual case 'is what it is' and we can only hope that more function returns. I got return of function up to 16 months after my L1 burst.
    Good luck to you and your boyfriend.

  8. #18
    Thank you so much for you reply- in his case there still was some spinal cord on the level of injury. But in terms of symptoms/treatment/recovery conus and cauda are very similar.(?)
    Arndog- good to hear your story- good outcome after 16 month- great that you are still active in this forum and encouraging other ones.
    How did you spend your time recovering in terms of aftercare. What do you think of alternative medicine like acupuncture, osteopathic treatments, cryotherapy, etc?

  9. #19

    Me too

    I am an L1/L2 incomplete. I was able to regain b&b function along with good use of my legs. I walk unassisted. I won't bore you with my whole story can read some of my other posts. To be concise, it was a long road back to functioning somewhat normally, but I'm sure glad I got here! My injury was in 1988.


  10. #20

    L1 incomplete starting to recover

    Hi everyone, just joined the forum! (and this is the first one like this I've joined)

    I suffered a burst fracture of my L1 back in Nov 09, fell from a roof almost 3 stories. I was incredibly lucky that that was the only injury I sustained. As soon as I hit the ground I lost all feeling below the waist. As the ambulance drove me to the hospital feeling started to come back to my legs, but it was intense pain! Like lightning bolts where firing down my legs back and forth.. back and forth. They rushed me into surgery and gave me a fusion from my T12 to L2 with some metal rods.

    When I came out of surgery my legs felt almost normal, but my feet felt like they were on fire! The next day they realized I had most of my leg strength so they got me up and walking with a walker. It was painful on my feet but I could do it so I kept at it. Took me about 2 weeks to get to crutches, then one crutch, then a cane for almost a month, until about a month ago when I could finally walk unassisted.

    No b&b problems really, but I do notice that sensations are different. like Carl said ejaculations don't feel the same, in fact contact to the penis of any sort just feels different, odd, similar to how it feels when something touches one of my feet, hard to explain beyond saying it feels "strange". Also I notice my butt feels strange too to the touch, but I do have control.

    It's been about 3 months, still in my Jewett brace (which I hate) but should be able to start weening off of it next week (I do now take it off from time to time anyway once it starts bothering me, it is very uncomfortable!). I notice (without the brace especially) that my back feels tight and awkward, but usually no pain. I am told that eventually I won't feel the fusion in my back, but i wonder if that's really true... it's only been 3 months but I'm starting to think I might always feel this thing in my back, any experience? Does that strange tight feeling eventually go away? If so when?

    I can live with the back, the main issue is my feet (and legs somewhat). Because of a delay in my WC claim (I was injured while working) I'm only just starting physical therapy now. I'm hoping my condition improves better with therapy. I'm 27 and consider myself very healthy and fit, and hopefully that plays a part on my side.

    The pain in my feet has very slowly been getting better, but still very bothersome. Now I notice my legs get sore after walking for any real period of time. At first I couldn't move the toes on my right foot at all but I can now though they are weak. My left foot are toes are stronger. My ankles were very weak but that seems to be coming back now too (I can stand and walk on the balls of my feet).

    I've been told many things, that I may make a full recovery, and that I may not. I desperately want to run again (I used to love to run), but not sure if that's in the cards, my balance is still rather poor.

    I have tons of questions but I've already rambled way too much here so here's just a few for anyone with a similar injury:

    1) what kind of exercises will I be able to do? (and when?) Can I one day do pull ups again? (I used to love those)

    2) after a long period of time is the pain in my feet likely to go away for the most part? (they tell me yes, but I am skeptical)

    3) similar for back discomfort, does that tight awkward feeling ever really go away?

    I know for the severity of my fall how lucky I was, and my continued progress keeps me positive and hopeful. Has anyone else been in a similar condition? thanks in advance for the support! I'll be sure to frequent this forum often!


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