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Thread: I am a walking para L1 burst fracture 17 months out from my injury

  1. #41
    Junior Member thedose's Avatar
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    It has now been almost 7 years since my accident, and 3 years since my treatment at the xcell center in Koln Germany.

    I have stopped using my cane all-together and have been walking around, though most of my balance is in my heels. When I stand upright, I have a natural lean toward my heels. If I walk for extended amounts of time my dorsiflexion starts becoming really weak and so I have to maintain a slower pace (which sucks because my natural walking pace is really fast, so my body is often times ahead of my legs)

    Just saw this thread again and wanted to post a more updated version, I will probably populate this post with more information once I get home.

  2. #42
    Hi,

    I would be intrested in knowing what was your condition before going to the xcell center i.e. hwo well were you walking.

    Also, how much time post-injury were you able to move volontarly your leg and walk with a walker? Do you / Did you have any spasms/spasticity?

    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedose View Post
    It has now been almost 7 years since my accident, and 3 years since my treatment at the xcell center in Koln Germany.

    I have stopped using my cane all-together and have been walking around, though most of my balance is in my heels. When I stand upright, I have a natural lean toward my heels. If I walk for extended amounts of time my dorsiflexion starts becoming really weak and so I have to maintain a slower pace (which sucks because my natural walking pace is really fast, so my body is often times ahead of my legs)

    Just saw this thread again and wanted to post a more updated version, I will probably populate this post with more information once I get home.

  3. #43
    Junior Member thedose's Avatar
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    My accident was on 9/9/05, I was 17 at the time. L1 compression burst fracture, had titanium put between L3 and T10.

    I was confined to a wheelchair for about 8 months post hospital, then I used a walker with AFOs for about 10 months, at the same time, I practiced using the AFOs without the walker at home (would use the walls for balance and I only fell a total of 2 times). Using the walls for balance eventually gave me some balance, but the way my AFOs were made also helped, they were not traditional behind the calf AFOs, but wrapped around my achilles heel and had plastic under my knee. I will see if I can find a picture of what I mean.

    I learned to walk around with just the AFOs but felt them really limiting as I had no plantar or dorsiflexion when using them so walking up and down stairs and sidewalks became a huge pain. The other factor was that I was also using therabands to do some ROM (range of motion) exercises for dorsiflexion, eversion, and inversion of the feet. (since the hospital I had a trace of dorsiflexion)

    Eventually, my atrophied calf muscles outgrew the AFOs and one day I ended up snapping them on accident when stepping off of some high stairs.

    The more ROM exercising I did, the more the dorsiflexion, eversion, and inversion returned, and even some slight toe movements. Since I had broken the AFOs I had gone back to the walker. Around the house I used the walls for balancing and eventually became able to walk around the house without any aid, however, when walking out I just wasn't comfortable so I started using a cane for support. I used the cane for almost 2.5 years, at the same time I went to the Xcell center. I just stopped using the cane in the summer of 2011, and had started using ankle (hiking) braces in addition to some boots (stacy adams madisons) which are horrid looking but they got the job done. Use those for quite some time and eventually used the braces with some regular dress shoes. I now use allen edmonds mcallister and weybridge, as well as the manchester loafers without anything, just socks. My ankles have gained quite some strength from that, but the initial 4 months of it were really hard. I managed though.

    I went to Koln in November of 2009, if you go to page 3 or 4 of this post it shows my post on it. I was injected with 13,000,000 cells with a 96% vitality rate (which apparently is great), though at the same time after the injection my nerves became so inflamed and my plane ride back was literally hell. I took antibodies which they provided for about a month and afterwards the pain subsided.

    I did have a lot of spasms and spasticity but as I progressed through the years it dimmed down. Now I do have some episodes but they vary to about 3-5 times a month. I have also discovered that when I stretch and if I massage my feet before going to sleep, the following day will be much easier. The Xcell center is not a cure, and I am in no way affiliated with them, but if you have the money and are willing to try it, I suggest doing it.

    I currently have a trace of plantar flexion and I suspect that if I keep working at it it might come back, if not 100% anything is good enough for me.

    I can drive, somehow jump, and walk, though not very fast or really long distances. If I am to walk long distances I go at my own pace, and when going up stairs I become extremely fatigued (I believe if I start to build my hip flexors more, glutes, and quads and hamstrings things might become easier) I don't use any support. I went from Wheelchair, to AFO+walker, to walker, to cane, to ankle braces (hiking braces), to boots, to nothing.

    Another factor that might be to my benefit is that I am currently 24 years old, but I am a strong believer that the cells injected by the xcell center did help me get to where I am, one can only hope.

    I just recently got over a huge episode of depression, but realized that life is life, and the only way is forward. I'm currently in the process of moving to the east coast and acquiring my bachelor's degree despite what happened before, it made me a stronger man and now my career begins.
    Last edited by thedose; 08-31-2012 at 01:47 PM.

  4. #44
    Junior Member thedose's Avatar
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    My AFOs were similar to this, minus the strap over the ankle

  5. #45
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    Hi,
    My names Lauren and Im 25 yrs old. I was in a severe car accident on 12/05/11 and survived with a L1 Burst Fracture, Right broken ankle and tore all ligiments in my Left ankle.
    Its soon to be 9months post sci and I am now walking with out any aid. Which is a HUGE blessing!!!
    I have B&B problems along with sexual disfunction. I also have complete lack of sensory from my hips/pelvis down the backs of my legs thru my ankles to the bottems of me feet. Im in pain constantly, from my back always being "sore" or "aching" to my feet hurting all the time. Not able to walk far with out being in pain but I still manage. My balance is also off but Im assuming its from the lack of sensation in my feet.
    I just joined this site to get feed back from others with my injury, try and understand what more I can do to get better.
    I know how blessed I am to be alive, though everyday is a struggle and just wishing I would go to bed and wake up back to "normal"

  6. #46
    Hi, Lauren. Pain management was the biggest challenge I faced for the first year or so (I'm 25 months post-injury: L1 burst fracture). I'm on high doses of gabapentin (generic for Neurontin) and Lyrica. It has only been the combination of those two medications that has made my pain, not just manageable, but all but disappear when I'm properly medicated. I know when it's time for the next dose because my glutes start to burn and tingle, which will spread down to my feet. I have run out of medication twice and was all but incapacitated from the pain. However, in the past year I have been able to slightly decrease my doses, and I can go much longer between doses. I still have break-through pain, which I especially notice when I first decrease, but it's manageable.

    I would advise you to be very cognizant of your activity level and sleep. I have more pain when I'm tired, and need a good mix of activity and rest-- too much of either and I have more pain (neuropathic and musculoskeletal in my back). I had some doctors tell me that the function I had at 12 months would be all I would be left with, but I noticed a big spurt in increased ability between 12 and 16 months. If you're walking unaided at 9 months, I can only imagine how much farther your hard work will take you! Walking is the best rehab! I use inserts in my shoes for heel pain (that's where I put all my weight now in my right foot). If you are having severe pain when you walk unaided, perhaps you should consider canes for longer distances? I use one cane primarily, but still keep the second around to use for longer distances as it helps me to walk more efficiently and conserve energy. Maybe canes would help alleviate some of the stress you are placing on your legs.

    I'm glad you joined the forum. I only recently began using it and am so thankful I found this particular group. It can feel quite isolating to have this kind of injury given limited mobility/stamina/pain management, and it's not quite as common as other injuries and illnesses. Hopefully the forum can help you find the answers, support, and inspiration you need to continue your recovery. Best wishes to you!
    Incomplete SCI from L1 burst fracture 8.16.10; T11-L3 spinal decompression, fusion, instrumentation, and deformity correction 8.18.10; 8 pedicle screws, two rods, carbon fiber AFO, and 1 or 2 canes with rubber tripod tips.

  7. #47
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    Hey Gimpin' thank u so much for all ur advise...i think im really just struggling with the wait to see aspect of my recovery! My brain tells me im fine while my body is like No Way! The whole thing is deffs a process
    Thank u so much for all the advise, nice to know im not alone
    Lauren

  8. #48
    I had an L1 burst fracture jumping a 90 triple jump on a dirt bike. Fused L1 to T12 and put a titanium cage in my spine. I was initially paralyzed for about 2 minutes. I have no bladder/bowel/sexual control and it's exactly 1 year later. I walk but it's twice as hard to walk. My hamstrings are tight, my gait is different, I have numbness and burning from waist down but Gabapentin helps some (my ears ring from it though). My right ankle is weak and but knee seems ok now. I walk ok without a cain. Hills are tough. Sitting is the hardest for me. Something seems to be pinching my lower right back. Sometimes after driving when I stand it feels like a lightning bolt struck me there. I have to sit on something soft and need lumbar support or my back becomes very unhappy. My butt looks like a saggy 90 year old butt. My wife laughs. I kinda do to. I really wish I could offer more information at this point. I do see my dr. next week finally. It's been 6mos since last visit. He said my chances are very low after 1 year if no bladder/bowel control.

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