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Thread: c5 incomplete

  1. #1

    c5 incomplete

    Hello all! My husband was injured on 2/17 & was just released from rehab on 4/5. He now attends outpatient pt & ot 3x week. He is able to stand up unassisted at walker & can stand approx 5 minutes before he sits back down. His left is stronger than his right so they are going to start shock therapy on nerves in right leg. After standing both ankles tend to get very swollen. At nighttime he wears boots to prevent feet from flopping. Is it normal for ankles to get very swollen? Is there anyone else with a similar injury and if so what is your status? Doctors feel that he is making wonderful progress and they feel that he should be able to walk again. He rides the exercise bike and at home he puts 20lb weights on both ankles and wrists and exercises. His endurance is amazing. We have a 10yr old and 12 yr old and he is fighting hard so he can return to the activities they enjoy. Has anyone else had nerve therapy & is it successful?

  2. #2
    It does sound like he's making good progress! I don't know the answers to your medical questions, but there are a lot of people here who do. In the meantime, welcome to the forum and best wishes to you and your husband.

  3. #3
    I hope he is getting FES (functional electrical stimulation) to his leg instead of "shock therapy" (electrocution)!!! It is more likely that this will strengthen already incomplete muscles rather than make muscles come back that are totally paralyzed. Where did he do his inpatient rehab and where is he doing his outpatient therapy?

    Is he wearing compression hose? We strongly recommend these to help manage edema in the lower extremities for our clients. The knee-high ones are best. They can be worn only when out of bed and removed at night so his skin can breathe. If he does not have strong ankle muscles (and I assume also lacks normal sensation), use of foot boots will help some to prevent contractures and pressure ulcers in his feet, but ROM and standing regularly (at least an hour daily) will do more for the ROM than any boots will.

    Glad you found our forums. Can you get him to join us as well?

    (KLD)

  4. #4
    Senior Member JEAPOW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soukeynas View Post
    Hello all! My husband was injured on 2/17 & was just released from rehab on 4/5. He now attends outpatient pt & ot 3x week. He is able to stand up unassisted at walker & can stand approx 5 minutes before he sits back down. His left is stronger than his right so they are going to start shock therapy on nerves in right leg. After standing both ankles tend to get very swollen. At nighttime he wears boots to prevent feet from flopping. Is it normal for ankles to get very swollen? Is there anyone else with a similar injury and if so what is your status? Doctors feel that he is making wonderful progress and they feel that he should be able to walk again. He rides the exercise bike and at home he puts 20lb weights on both ankles and wrists and exercises. His endurance is amazing. We have a 10yr old and 12 yr old and he is fighting hard so he can return to the activities they enjoy. Has anyone else had nerve therapy & is it successful?
    Glad you have found this site, as I do not know where your hubby's injury was I can explain mine a little so I hope this gives you comfort.

    I had foot drop and also did wear the boots, my feet are now fine. My injury was in Nov and I am walking fine with a walker, but alone walking is still difficult. I too started out in the standing frame, it does make you stonger so that is great.I ride my bike with no weights so he must have good strength there.
    My family was told I would never walk again, but I am here to tell you don't give up, I may look like a webbles walking, but I can and will walk. Just standing up is extremely difficult and takes alot of energy, I sometimes think I could keel over because I am shaking so hard. I had heat and electrical nerve therapy, like a tens unit at PT. I know have a tens unit at home and use along with moist heating pad. I will tell you with alot of hard work I think anything is possible and your two little cheerleaders will be the greatest support for him. Much of the healing is emotional because this is the hardest job your husband wil ever have. Just encourage him that it takes time (it is easy to get discouraged) and day by day he will get better.
    My neuro said it can sometimes take up to a year to regain function, I deal with neuropothy also ugg.
    Wishing you, hubby and your children all the blessings that will come your way.
    Also my left foot still gets swollen I think that is part of the process, but I also have swelling on incision site. Hope I have helped some.
    JeAnNE L1Burst Fracture inc. 11/5/10

    Live Well--Laugh often

  5. #5

  6. #6
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    I agree with the nurse that I hope they are really going to do some sort of E-stim. This can be a portable unit or a FES bike. Both are beneficial. Electronic Stimulation is very different from Electronic shock therapy.

    My son is an incomplete C-2 (2 years out) and still making progress toward recovery. One thing you need to caution against is discouragement. His progress may seem slow at times, especially after he has seen rapid progress so far.

    One thing we have learned (both from Ryan who has by far exceeded all expectations, and from other incomplete SCI we have met through Ryan's rehab center-inpatient and day program) is that incomplete = unknown. Since no two incomplete injuries are the same, it is very hard to give a long term prognosis about your husband's potential. As long as he works hard and continues to make progress, he is not finished.

    You do no mention where he did rehab or what his ASIA level is. One key is the experience level of the therapists he has access to. All therapists and all rehab is not the same. He needs access to SCI experts. We had this at the rehab level but it took us forever to find someone at home who is willing to learn along with Ryan. His therapists has talked and emailed his rehab therapists and received recommendations from them all for the last year. Ryan plans to return to rehab to day program when he is ready to do gait training. Ryan's injuries went far beyond his SCI so his walking training has been very slow. Just when his doctors or therapists think he has gotten what he is going to get, he makes a jump in ability and functionality. He is determined and that goes a long way.

    Welcome to the group. We all have different experiences as we have all had different journeys through this. Particularly for incomplete injuries, you cannot make comparisons as they are all different.--eak

  7. #7
    Possibly Brown Sequard Syndrome? Does he have any sensory impairments? Usually the physically stronger side will have issues feeling hot / cold and pain sensations. The weaker side will have better sensation.

    Sound familiar?

  8. #8
    Hi everyone - thanks for correction about shock therapy LOL .. In patient & outpatient at Walton Rehab in augusta - 2/17 report states: c6 lamina fracture/mri showed abnoramlity from c3-c6, worst at c4-c5 disc level - he also has a congenitally narrow spinal canal. asia scaleis C.

    On Friday had an accident and foot was wedged between shower door and floor --went to ER & no breaks or fracture but to be safe treating it as sprain but it just presented as adema. ER thought it was good that he felt pain on ankle since this is the leg with less sensation. Would you agree?

    On 3/21 while sitting in wheelchair a puddle was under him. We were excited but CNA thought it was just a reflex and wanted to scana him b4 manual catheter. SCAN showed 500ml and they thought since I just learned process I should do it for him.. A student nurse from local military college was going to assist - He had NEVER done it either! As my husband listened to both of us going back and forth about how to do it he said the heavens above allowed his hose to work!! LOL Had to be there but it was hilarious. Since then he just uses a a little jug the hospital gave him. He is able to hold it himself but still needs assitance when he needs the jug asap. As far as bowel treatment he is on meds to help with it every other night.

  9. #9
    His is actually the opposite -- The stronger side has no problems with hot or cold -- His left thumb usually experiences pain but other than that the left is side. His right side which is weaker has the sensation issues . This is why I was very concerned that he said his ankle hurt because usually his sensations are off on the right leg

  10. #10
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    You may find that in the future his need for bowel meds may diminish. Ryan todl the doctors and nurses for months that he knew when he had to go but because the trauma hospital wanted him to go at in the morning and the rehab hospital wanted him to go at night, it took a while before his body got back to his regular time all by itself. He was always a 4 in the afternoon person (when he got hoe from school). WE have also learned, the hard way, that sulfa antibiotics make his bowels shut down. We use magic bullets when needed. We are still getting back to his regular schedule after learning about the sulfa drugs but i am confident that it will happen. You may want to try boosting his natural fiber a little at a time and reducing the drugs to see if his bowels will move on their own. Since his bladder in functioning, his bowels may too if given a chance. As long as you do not allow him to go more than three days without voiding his bowels, he should be fine. You may be pleasantly surprised. You say you are using meds to achieve a bowel program every other night but are you using oral meds or bullets. Ryan's gastro doc told him that it is less intrusive on the system to stimulate from the bottom than it is from the top. In other words, his system can get dependent on laxatives and loose the ability to regulate itself. This is less likely to happen using bullets as necessary than it is if you use oral laxatives. You can get them from several sources online and the best part is that results are achieved in as little as 20 minutes and you can wait and use them only if necessary. If he is able to go his own, that is the best. I would also see if you can try to schedule his bowels to what they were used to. Most of us have a regular time of day that our body has been used to for years and you may find that most successful. He will probably need more fiber in his diet than he did before as he is not as active as he was before. Fresh fruits, fresh veggies, and whole grains are the best but make sure you increase him gradually (you do not want to shock his system).

    You are doing what you need to do at this time which is to be supportive and encouraging. Life will be different than it was before the injury but that does not mean that he will not be able to be an active dad.

    The swollen ankles are something we have battled off and on. The best was I have found to get them to go down is the same thing I did when I was pregnant with Ryan and had no ankles. Lie on the floor or bed with butt close to the wall and put the legs up the wall at as close to a 90 degree angle as you can. This will make the fluid drain back down after just a few minutes. Also, the ted hose (elastic stockings) can actually make it worse in some people. Propping the feet above the heart while sleeping also helps. Ryan's don't stay that way for long though because he moves his feet and legs in his sleep. We put his legs up the wall every afternoon while he is still on his exercise mat for about 20 minutes after his work out and have had no problems for months. It works for him and it cannot hurt.--eak

    Bladder and bowel control are considered the "holy grail" for SCI. They are on the last nerves on the spinal column and usually control of one means control of the other. I say usually because there are exceptions to everything where incomplete injuries are concerned.

    Your husband's injury is too recent for anyone to know where he will end up functionally. He is doing the right thing by working hard. He will even get to the point where he is no longer embarrassed by having someone retrieve his urinal from his back-pack in public as he heads to the men's room. Ryan has found though, that there are many "accessable" restrooms that really are not as he cannot reach to flush the toilet. He really does not care if the stall door closes behind him and has been known to ask a perfect stranger to flush the toilet because he cannot reach it.

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