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Thread: Friend just had SCI in Nicaragua 30hrs ago

  1. #1

    Friend just had SCI in Nicaragua 30hrs ago

    Hi all,
    My friend just had a SCI at C5-C6 while swimming in Nicaragua. She has lost motor function in here hands and feet. She was given methelprednasolon(sp?) at the injury site. She did not break any vertebrae and only has swelling between C5-C6. They are debating sending her home to Philadelphia to have surgery at Jefferson Hospital or stay in Nicaragua. They said the doctor down there is was educated in the US and also has a practice in Miami. At this point I think they have decided to stay down there and she will have surgery sunday or monday. I always thought that if you just have swelling of a disk you don't need surgery. Will she need a halo or just a neck brace? If you have any suggestions or info, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    Not sure on this, but they may do surgery to aleviate the swelling. Open something up so that the swelling has someplace to go and isnt compressing the cord. Not sure how this would be done but I equate it to a closed head injury where they remove part of the skull to allow for the swelling and then replace it when the swelling goes down.

  3. #3
    Sorry about your friend. Can you find out more details of what the surgery is for? I tend to always feel more comfortable with the surgeons in the US, but hope she is in good hands there. I also am questioning what the surgery would do.. Thinking of your friend at this time.

  4. #4


    Thanks guys.

    I just got off the phone with her and just wanted to share more info. She doesn't believe she got metheprednasolon(sp?), bu she will ask. Can she get it through an IV or is it injected locally? It is not just a swollen disk. The doctor explained to her that her disk is damaged and he needs to replace it. She said she has had a contusion on a disk years ago, but she's not sure if they are related. How invasive is an operation like this? The doctors here at UPenn explained that the risks of medivac back to Philadelphia are not worth it because of vibrations and such. I am recommending Jefferson Hospital here in Philadelphia only because that's where I went and I know I had great doctors and the best care.
    Anyone ever heard of Dr. Albero or Alberto Jerez, in Nicaragua and Miami? He is her doctor down there.

    Dr. Wise - any thoughts?

    Much appreciated.

  5. #5
    I believe methylprednisolone would generally be I.V. - I don't know what the dose would be, I'm hope Dr. Young or the nurses will be along to say. I believe it's urgent to have it done fairly quiclly. It's also sometimes known by the name salu-medrol.

  6. #6
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    Usually it is given IV because it is a drip given over time in accordance to weight. She should have been given it immediately for the best results. I would guess they are going in to remove the disk to take pressure off of the cord, and because it is so heavily damaged they will remove it and replace the disk. I Think travel is out of the question like they said because of the moving it could further damage the cord. Dont know any information on the dr. but I am sure you could google his name.
    Last edited by medic1; 03-05-2010 at 09:13 PM. Reason: added link

  7. #7
    I am so sorry she would not be stable enough to go to Jefferson at this time. Replacing a disc with artificial disc sounds like major surgery. Sounds like this type of surgery has only recently been approved in US. It is tough to be out of the country when something as serious at this happens. Glad she is able to speak for herself. I have her in my thoughts and prayers..
    Last edited by med100; 03-09-2010 at 05:01 PM.

  8. #8
    I just looked up the names you gave us "Dr. Albero or Alberto Jerez." Are you saying both of these doctors have a license to practice medicine in the US, in Florida? I checked the Florida database and they did not come up. I did not have a first name for Dr. Albero, but even without this, no name in Florida with a license came up for a Dr. Albero or Dr. Jerez. But I have another first name for Dr. Jerez...
    Last edited by med100; 03-09-2010 at 05:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Alvaro Jerez, MD perhaps?

    He's a neurosurgeon at The Clinical Team - CyberKnife Center of Miami

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TAM63 View Post
    Alvaro Jerez, MD perhaps?

    He's a neurosurgeon at The Clinical Team - CyberKnife Center of Miami
    I believe this is the correct name. Is seems like he is legit.

    Again, thanks for all the support. I'll keep you posted.

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