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Thread: C6 incomplete Hand function

  1. #1

    C6 incomplete Hand function

    Not really new, but I broke my neck (incomplete c6 central cord syndrome) in may of last year (almost 11 months). I am a 19 year old male. I have literally gained all function back in this time other than in my hands. They are weak and have a big lack of dexterity.
    I am currently not in a outpatient PT/OT program, as they want me to do my exercises at home.

    I kinda have a lot of questions so i'll just shoot em all out. Feel free to ask and background questions.

    -Should I realistically expect much more recovery?
    -Does more exercises increase the chances of more recovery?
    -Finally, at what point do you accept that you are probably going to be at this level and not going to recover more?
    Last edited by the_yush; 03-28-2010 at 08:24 PM.

  2. #2
    I wish I had answers to your questions but.. here is the best I can do. The all mark of Central cord syndrome is that the hand functions is less than the legs. Since lyou have gained some strength in your egs it is stil lpossible, although no guar,antee that you wil lgain some hand function. Don't give up exercising- the latest thought is that the exercising and repetive movememts, even if passivemovement- helps with "sprouting" of nerves in the spinal cord.
    So no one knows your future- but you must do everything possible so that you give yourself every opportunity to gain hand function- and that means exercising. On the other hand, you must prepare yoursef incase your hand funciton doesn't return as that is another possibility.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    CWO

  3. #3
    Maybe I can help. I am also a C6 incomplete with hand damage suffered in a car accident in Jan 06. I recovered pretty much all motor movement, except my hands are somewhat weak. I will tell you to keep working with your hands doing fine motor stuff - typing, hand strengthening exercises, putty exercises (hated them but they work). If you can play video games with a controller it is a GREAT exercise. I am still gaining hand and finger strength so keep working. I swear by the video games - just keep plugging away. i was amazed by how much they helped. I was very clumsy at first, but over time my fine motor skills have progressed to probably 85% recovery. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Welcome Yush,

    You're 19 yrs old, incomplete, , not even a year in. Man the opprotunity for your hands to improve is tremendous. Get out there and work 'em, stretch 'em and maximize their potential. I know people who get results years post injury. It just doesn't come back all the time, usually we have to work for it.

    Breaking your neck and walking away with most everything except weak hands; count yourself lucky. Which I'm sure you do.

    How much dexterity do you have in your hands. Can you crumple up a piece of paper, hold a cup or ? What type of exercises have they got you doing? Are you going to a gym, what are you doing for exercise? If we knew more , it might help.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    I wish I had answers to your questions but.. here is the best I can do. The all mark of Central cord syndrome is that the hand functions is less than the legs. Since lyou have gained some strength in your egs it is stil lpossible, although no guar,antee that you wil lgain some hand function. Don't give up exercising- the latest thought is that the exercising and repetive movememts, even if passivemovement- helps with "sprouting" of nerves in the spinal cord.
    So no one knows your future- but you must do everything possible so that you give yourself every opportunity to gain hand function- and that means exercising. On the other hand, you must prepare yoursef incase your hand funciton doesn't return as that is another possibility.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    CWO
    Thanks for the prompt response. That is the answer I was expecting. I really just need to be more motivated to do my exercises

    Quote Originally Posted by slickchick22 View Post
    Maybe I can help. I am also a C6 incomplete with hand damage suffered in a car accident in Jan 06. I recovered pretty much all motor movement, except my hands are somewhat weak. I will tell you to keep working with your hands doing fine motor stuff - typing, hand strengthening exercises, putty exercises (hated them but they work). If you can play video games with a controller it is a GREAT exercise. I am still gaining hand and finger strength so keep working. I swear by the video games - just keep plugging away. i was amazed by how much they helped. I was very clumsy at first, but over time my fine motor skills have progressed to probably 85% recovery. Good luck.
    I would LOVE to be able to play video games, but my thumbs are a bit too weak. Thank you very much though. So glad to see people are recovering past the year mark. May I ask how much of that recovery came after 1 year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Welcome Yush,

    You're 19 yrs old, incomplete, , not even a year in. Man the opprotunity for your hands to improve is tremendous. Get out there and work 'em, stretch 'em and maximize their potential. I know people who get results years post injury. It just doesn't come back all the time, usually we have to work for it.

    Breaking your neck and walking away with most everything except weak hands; count yourself lucky. Which I'm sure you do.

    How much dexterity do you have in your hands. Can you crumple up a piece of paper, hold a cup or ? What type of exercises have they got you doing? Are you going to a gym, what are you doing for exercise? If we knew more , it might help.
    I would say my hands are at about 50% of the dexterity I once had. My thumbs are the weakest part which limits me a lot. I can easily crush a paper and hold a cup, but pretty much without the use of my thumb. Honestly I can do most things, just in a different way.
    I have a EMPI unit which has tens and NMES, but haven't been using it for a while. I am going start using it again as soon as I finish this post. I have a few exercises that were given to me including: stretching my fingers out all the way then bringing them together to work the intrinsic muscles, extention and flexion exercises with putty, and various thumb workouts. I'm also going to begin outpatient OT again next week, once a week.


    Thank you so much for replying. I feel a lot more motivated to do the therapy knowing there is SOME hope.

  6. #6
    I am three years out. Incomplete. C2-T2 infarction.
    My hands have drastically improved since the 11 month mark and I think they are still improving. I still have weakness and dexterity issues, but nothing very limiting. My biggest complaint at this point is the muscle cramps I get…probably from over use of weak muscles.
    Keep working at it. I could not hold chopsticks at 11months and now I use them all the time!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by the_yush View Post

    I would LOVE to be able to play video games, but my thumbs are a bit too weak. Thank you very much though. So glad to see people are recovering past the year mark. May I ask how much of that recovery came after 1 year?
    An awful lot of recovery came after the one year mark. Keep trying with the video games. I was very, very clumsy at first, but kept after it, mostly because of boredome during the winter. I'm 53 yrs. old and use my Wii a alot.

    A great example - I have a 20 month old granddaughter. When she was born I could not do the snaps on her clothes at all. I now have a grandson and the snaps are a piece of cake - no problem at all.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    For sure keep working. I have c6-7 inc and i play pretty much anything on the xbox and Its done wonders for my fingers. Some of the controls are hard to utilize but I find ways to stay competitive despite the handicap. Im not sure if it helped or not but i used to fall asleep with my hands under me to keep them straight instead of all curled in.

    Lastly, never, ever quit working - hard work always pays off.

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