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Thread: Friend spinal cord injury recovery question

  1. #1
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    Friend spinal cord injury recovery question

    My friend was diagnosed with Spinal Cord Stroke in late March. Initially paralyzed chest down with use only of his left arm. He was in rehab for about a month (amazing place, use of lokomat, electric stimulation, a team of spinal injury rehab specialists) and then released to his home with outpatient rehab at same place. Anyway, wiht rehab he's making great progess in terms of muscle movement. Left leg movement came back first, but now he's has signifiant right leg movement too. However, when does sensation come back? He still doesn't have any feeling in the muscle...but he can move them? Is sensation the last to come back? Is there an order of things...everyone keeps saying spinal cord injury recovery is measured in years not days/months, but just wondering if I can get some more info on the recovery side of things.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Sara, I never lost light touch, vibration or propriosensation. And he is progressing faster than I did way back when. I found that 4-AP helped my sensation as well as strength when I started it several years out. But I did slowly recover some heat/cold and my pin prick tests are no longer fun for the doc if he stands in front of me. It takes time...
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  3. #3
    I had a spinal cord stroke too and like Sue, never lost sensation. I lost the use of my hands and arms. I never lost the ability to walk, although my balance was affected. I never lost bladder or bowel control. I slowly regained much of the use of my hands and triceps, but not the rest of my arm muscles.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. It is very odd that motor has come back so quickly and yet sensory has not in the least. I will say he has been pushing himself ( rehabbing some weeks all 5 days) to complete and total fatigue. Since my last post he has regained all muscle movement..now he can walk short distances with a walker, tie his shoes, get dressed, etc. He was in fantastic physical shape ( ran marathons etc) and is very determined so I wonder if because of that his muscles are responding quicker than everything else. I just want to make sure that muscle progress hopefully means sensation will come back at some point...

  5. #5
    ive gained movement everywhere...some places alot stronger than others. i can move my legs but dont have much feeling at all in them...i feel pain/cramps, but to touch, not so much....u never know, time will tell..
    - Rolling Thru Life -

  6. #6
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    My Experience since Spinal Stroke Grade C later D in Dec 2010

    I too had an awful injury in Dec 2011 leaving me paraplegic with gradual recovery of one side of my lower body only during the first months.
    I only had flickers of a few muscles on the right side and was wheelchair bound for 4-5 months.

    Generally, my muscles atrophied following spinal shock and the regeneration of those muscles was very worrying as I didnt feel I had them any more. Several physios cautioned me not to be too optimistic about walking again. I did all the standard traditional exercises i.e. no devices or aids and this gave rise for optimism that I could recover some of the large leg muscles but it was dreadfully slow. The physio group then gave me a 'Neurotech' and 'Neurotech Kneehab' electrical stimulation system which I have used for some months now and it had helped to regenerate muscles that even the Physiotherapists dismissed as non functional any more. For example, the glutes were completely dead as little as 8 weeks ago and essential to walking. I now have the glutes working and now can walk say 500m without any walking aids.

    I only had very very slight flickers in many muscles the Neurotech equipment brought them back. I made a mistake in the early stages by only using these devices once a day for thirty minutes, some doctors say use them up to 4 times a day.

    I did spend about 2.5 months in a spinal rehab centre using hydropool, lokomat, gym, occupational therapy, traditional exercises, etc. The other key items for me were simple suspension straps and springs for legs to allow basic motion to start again. The motomed cycle was also invaluable in the early days starting with only power assist and then 2-3w of pwer production after a few weeks, I can now cycle on the road up gentle hills but need assistance to get on and off the bike or at least a convenient wall.

    Neurogenic bladder gradually improving, no temperature sense and numbness on left side of body and legs gradually improving.

    One important point that might interest people is that a my right leg developed hypersensation particularly at night and my leg would become as rigid as a piece of wood, even tiny water drops from a dripping shower falling on it will do this. More recently I have found that this high day and night tone can be alleviated by cycling the day before and exercise of a repetitive nature. Also anxiety or being in a hurry to hobble along has a pronounced effected on tone. I was very worried about teh high tone and after 8 months I am finally finding days where the tone is normal and I can swing my leg like a pendulum while seated. This invariably follows prior days cycling, walking or a good night sleep.

    Best Regards

    Oconnor

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