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Thread: New injury 10-11-10

  1. #1

    New injury 10-11-10

    Hi Everyone,

    I started reading what all of you have gone through and seems like you are all doing some fabulous progress! Hats off to all of you to keep trying and keep pushing yourselves! Here is my story: My brother who is 30yrs old was in a farming accident Oct 11th 2010, burst fracture to the L1...Had a 5hr long surgery to remove bone fragments from the spinal canal and than they added screws ect to keep spine in place. I dont have all the details really as I was away when it happened and got back from vacation with the news. He has lost sesnsation from essentially l1 and all his legs. When they do the prick test on him he cannot feel it, however if the nurse moves his toes he feels pain.....He is in a lot of pain and they keep trying to fix his pain meds....he cannot find a comfortable position back or side....anyhow he is very depressed also but seems to be strong at same time...he wants to walk again but somethimes thinks it will never happen....I dont think I need to explain all of you guys these persdonal issues, I am sure you all went through them.

    I am trying to be supportive for my brother but it is very hard. I am not experioence with type of accident ect and not much info.....been trying to read about it and all....The doctors dont know if he will ever be able to walk again, I just want your opinions....we are now Oct 22nd and he is still not able to get up to sit in a wheelchair, rotating in bed with the help of nurses is still very painful ect.....what are your thoughts and any suggestions of things I can say to him? What made it easier for you guys to get through this? And I know most of you are still dealing with issues? any tips, advice?


  2. #2
    Welcome to CareCure! It is great that you are reaching out for help with your brother. Right now he is experiencing acute pain, and should be getting sufficient pain medication (which can be a LOT) to deal with this type of injury. It sounds like he is undermedicated at this time. Ask for a formal pain consultation to get the experts helping his doctor to come up with a regimen that will work for him. The pain needs to be controlled enough that he can get out of bed and participate in therapy.

    Is he being moved to a specialty SCI rehabilitation center soon? This is critical as well. Don't let them send him to a general rehab unit just because there is one close by. If you let us know where he is currently, we can recommend appropriate places for him to go. If he is a military veteran, the VA is also a great resource for SCI rehabilitation.

    While walking is important, it is just the tip of the ice-berg for the impact of such an injury. Many people with SCI will tell you that the loss of bowel and bladder control, and changes in sexual functioning are much more devastating...and if they had a choice between getting those back and walking, walking would loose out most times.

    Do you know his actual neurologic level of injury and ASIA category? With an L1 fracture, he is likely to have a low lumbar cord injury, or even a cauda equina injury. Many people at this level walk (sometimes needing bracing) even if they get no further return.

    Is he being treated for his depression? Getting counseling? Antidepressant medications are very appropriate to use early after injury, and this does not mean he necessarily has to be on them long term. The goal should be to get his depression under control so that it does not interfere with his rehabilitation. Getting into rehab early, and into the right place will also have a significant positive impact on his depression.

    I moved this from the Exercise forum to the New SCI forum as this is where most people post about brand new injuries. You will find a lot of information reading previous posts here, as well as the responses to this post. Please come back and let us know how you and he are doing, and ask more questions. We will help as much as we can.


  3. #3
    Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry that your brother is going through this, and at the same time he is blessed with your love and support. This is the very best place to find answers, suggestions and the benefit of experience. Best wishes to you both.

  4. #4
    No words of wisdom. Just be there for your brother.
    My husband's brother had so much denial and now he does not come over as often.
    It is great you are looking for info.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RJP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I too am a L1 burst fracture and I also was in pain in the begining. I ma 3 years into and it does get doable. I am working and do everthing for myself take care of kids drive everything. There are even subjects who are farming still on this site. I wasnt able to move much nor did I think they wanted me to move much. I wore a turtle shell they called it for 3 months and i wasnt able to do anything without that on. Tell your brother to keep his head up it will get easier or like I said doable.
    What ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger

  6. #6
    Also, there are programs out there for farmers with disabilities. You did not say if he owns the farm or was only a worker there, but here are some resources. His state Dept. of Vocational Rehab should also be involved in helping him get back to work:


  7. #7
    Hi there,

    Thanks everyone for your replies! Well essentiall we are in Canada...Thanks for the sites, not sure if you have info for Ontario Canada....He owns the farm....and he is in the army too. as far as details of " Do you know his actual neurologic level of injury and ASIA category? With an L1 fracture, he is likely to have a low lumbar cord injury, or even a cauda equina injury." I do not even know what all that means....I am seing my brother on Sunday so will try to get some info from the nurses as the wife has been giving me the info so far. I know that a pain specialist finally came Tuesday night to sort the meds out again via IV but not sure what he is on or if he is getting enough relief...apparently he was a bit better. They are planning to place him in a reghab in patient but not sure if specific for SCI, I will find out....I didnt realize about the bowel disfunction and all but the more I read about these fractures I think it is in almost all cases that it happens? I didnt think my brother was afected by that but I guess he might be, i saw he had a diaper on along with a catherer for pee bag ect....My brother was asking if his junk was showing the other day and we reassured him that he is all good.....I think he feels very diminished by that....He did see 2 psych tuesday morning and the same 2 came back with 4 more in the this normal?
    Also they sent him for an EKG? is that because of all the meds???

    One reassuring news that was said is that a post op mri showed that the screws are in place good and everthying looked good at that point. They said that rehab depends on him and how much he can essentially what I get is that they just need to put him on some better good knock out drugs for him to be able to do the rehab?

    I know that he is willing to try the rehab really bad! but pain wise can only tolerate so hopefully they fix that for him.

    I will post back on Sunday as I will see him than and have more info....

    RJP: I know what you mean by DOABLE....I personally suffer from chronic pain due to 2 different accidents....going for mri tomorrow....anyhow it is all about finding the right meds that make you able to enjoy life and be able to do the things you need to do.....My brother is very affraid of having to live with chronic pain because we saw my mother go through it also....I just hope that the psychologist are able to help him.....And hats of to you to be able to do things again.....I know this must be really hard at times.....

    Thanks to everyone too for your replies...\\Til Sunday,


  8. #8
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by garceaua View Post
    rotating in bed with the help of nurses is still very painful ect.....
    This is one of the most important things he needs to remember right now. The nurses and him need to keep a close eye on his skin so he doesn't develop a pressure sore. A sore will set his recovery back by months. Absolutely as important when he starts sitting in a chair. Keep that skin healthy.

    "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
    - Barack Obama

  9. #9
    Hi Anne-Marie - Not sure where in Ontario you are... Toronto Rehab (Lyndhurst) is supposed to be the best going. I know some Islanders who have gone there for their rehab. Perhaps you could ask about it and have your brother and his family look into it. Here's their web-site:

    Good luck and God bless... Corinne

  10. #10
    thanks for the tip about the skin......on that note, they have him eating liquid food only...soups juice ect.....i guess most of you had to do that? If so any good recipes of something i can make him? hospital food is never great....

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