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

  1. #11
    Senior Member sorefm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by debbier View Post
    L1 compression fracture Asia C

    sugery was on 2/1/2010- docs told me i only had a 20% chance of walking again. While in rehab the only thing i could move were my right, and left toes. I came home and decided to purchase a walker, and with my family help i stood up for the first time on March 25th. It was hard to stay up but my muscles seem to be comming back-all of a sudden i could move my legs. i stood up every hour for five min. I walked for the first time on April 4th. i fell a few times and got very scared of walking, but I knew I had to keep trying. Now i walk with my walker, and by my self. i am working on balance. I hope my legs get more strong because I have a very hard time with steps. I dont have any B&B issues but sexually kinda not there. Any ideas on how I can get stronger????
    That's outstanding! Early on I got by mostly on my right leg along with the ability to hyperextend my left. Hyperextension was only a short term solution since it would eventually wreck my knee. But I got more back and it sounds like you are too. I was an ASIA D but that was primarily because of the function in my right leg. I am currently 13 1/2 months from injury/surgery. I am lightyears beyond where I was at 4 months so keep up the good work to maximize recovery!

  2. #12
    Debbier - agree with Sorefm. Stay positive, keep working like you are doing. You are still early, I made gains up to 18 months post SCI as do many others.

    Get your upper body as strong as possible to make crutch walking or walker walking easier. Keep your weight under control.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    lafayette cal
    Keep walking, keep walking, keep walking no matter how hard it is dont stop moving rest when you need to and yes do the steps how is your upper body strength

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Florida, USA
    Sounds like you very much need continued PT guidance. I had a weight training and walking regimen that helped me maximize return. Keep working hard and you may be very pleasantly surprised over the next 18 months. Good luck.
    2012 SCINetUSA Clinical Trial Support Squad Member
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  5. #15
    Sorefm, do you walk by ur-self now? You guys give me hope, and thanks for all advice. As far as PT goes- I feel as if they are wasting my time! I have done everything on my own. When i do go to PT they put me to walk -which is something I could do at home. Bwallace, my upper body strenght is okay, i guess and I am about 120lbs. What really stops me from walking is all this back pain. i hate the painkillers makes me wanna vomit so i am trying natural stuff for pain like a banana ( dont laugh sometime i think its working)- i can walk about 60 feet without holding onto anything but i do walk slow. i am thankful to be out of the wheelchair. i can shower standing up, use the bathroom on my own, and i can turn myself in bed!!!!!!<-----YES!!!
    i just want my life back the way it was before. I dont hear from my friends much more, maybe its cause I cant go clubbing for now. I never thought i would say this but its HARD being home watching TV and finding stuff to do. Today i have gotton much hope from you guys....hopefully, ill get stronger in time. I hope to climb steps and wear my heels again

  6. #16
    debbier - I also found that after a while, one can do most everything without PT if you have a good work ethic and are self motivating. One thing I will throw out there for you now that you said you are trying to walk unassisted and are struggling with really bad back pain. Walking without holding on to anything can put stresses on your back that, if you use forearm crutches or a walker, you can avoid. I would put a lot of mileage with symmetric upper body support while you walk (walker or forearm crutches) before you walk unassisted in the face of back pain. Just an idea ....
    Last edited by arndog; 06-07-2010 at 05:33 PM.

  7. #17
    Senior Member sorefm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by debbier View Post
    Sorefm, do you walk by ur-self now? You guys give me hope, and thanks for all advice. As far as PT goes- I feel as if they are wasting my time! I have done everything on my own. When i do go to PT they put me to walk -which is something I could do at home.<snip>
    I do walk unassisted now, about 2/3 normal speed with twice the effort. I currently still have visible gait deficiencies. I was in a walker and wheelchair for the first few months, then I graduated to dual forearm crutches, then to a single point cane. I stopped using the cane at about 11 months even though my stability was/is less than desired. My stability is improving. I am careful and have only had 3 falls in the last 13 1/2 months (not trying hard enough??!), all of them minor and inconsequential.

    As far as PT, I have felt the same frustration you have voiced. I let them know. Take charge of your own recovery. I needed a push from family in the beginning to adopt that attitude.

    You are in the window of recovery and need to maximize returns. If you are getting PT at a facility that doesn't deal with a lot of neuro injuries (SCI, strokes, brain injury...) you may be outside their area of expertise. I travel 45-60 minutes each way, 2x-3x/week to go to a rehab facility with extensive neuro rehab experience. I am also very picky about being handed off to a PT assistant. My facility said they had a policy of (max) 5 visits with a PTA and then you had to be seen by a PT. I told them that was not even close to acceptable and I see my PT almost every time and they always ask me before even trying to schedule me with a PTA. My PT confided that they were a little concerned about my "stubbornness" in the beginning but found it worked for me--plus--I do my homework, and more. They like that.

    I am very interested in hearing about your ongoing recovery and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Sorefm sorry for replying late. I was away from home for few days.

    Dear i was able to walk very soon after my L1 injury. I consider very lucky to myself that i can walk like normal. I have no BB and Sexual function due to injury.

  9. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Toledo, Illinois

    L-1 Burst Fracture with T-11 through L-5 fusion


    I was in an auto accident on Feb 26, 2009 and sustained a L-1 burst fracture with retropulsion (bone fragment schrapnel) in my spinal cord. I had an 11 hour surgery resulting in a graph fusion from T-11 through L-5 with 2 12 inch rods, 24 screws and a 3 inch cross stabilization bar at L-12. I went into surgery knowing I would come out a parapalegic as the damage was so extensive and there were bone fragments that would be unretrievable. To everyones amazement I came out of surgery with function in my legs. It has been a year and a half since my accident and I have almost normal function in my left leg but my right leg is still pretty impared. I have all the mobility issues you would imagine with an injury like this, I can get around with a cane but not for more than a few 100 feet at a time and I am painfully slow and my balance sucks. I also havebowel/bladder and sexual disfunction but my biggest issue is pain. I can not remember what it feels like to feel "normal". I have been on every medication you can imagine with varying levels of pain relief though resulting in varied levels of stupor. I have been off ALL meds since March 2010 and have been just "coping" with it. I am now exploring a spinal cord stimulator but may not be a candidate due to the amount of damage in my back and the amount of hardware getting in the way. I would love to know if anyone else with a Lumbar or Thoracic injury has tried pain pumps or Spinal Cord Stimulators.



  10. #20
    Hi Nikki - welcome to Care Cure and I am sorry you had to find us but glad you did. You and I sound somewhat similar. You should consider filling out your profile so people could get an idea about what you are dealing with. I would paste your introduction just like you have done here in the pain forum to ask others about spinal cord stimulators. I am sure some people will chime in if you start your own thread in the pain forum.

    Do you use an AFO on your 'bad' leg? What muscle groups are you left with or what are you missing?

    I am a burst L1 incomplete para ski injury 8 years ago, walking with canes around the house (and using a wheelchair just in the home) but also using forearm crutches and with these I can really go a long way. I will throw one bit of advice which is to conserve your energy for the walking you really want to do and definitely consider using forearm crutches. I am using SideStix sport crutch system which has interchangeable feet and I can go snowshoeing in the winter and hike all over the mountain trails with crutches. If I had to do it with a cane, I could get 100 ft only, but with forearm crutches and I have an AFO and minimal muscle use on my 'bad' side with no hip stabilizers and nothing below the knee and no glutes or hamstrings on the 'bad' side. But despite this I can still hike far in a day, like 15 plus miles.

    Pain has been the biggest obstacle for me too and it is one of the things that goes along with incomplete injuries - mobility but with PAIN. Check out the pain forum to meet others who are coping/non coping/battling/ winning/ and losing with their pain.

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