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Thread: Brown-Sequard Syndrome

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    c4/c5 Incomplete - NYC

    Brown-Sequard Syndrome

    Hello, My name is Bart. I'm new to this forums and I'm very happy I found this place. I'm looking for some information about my condition Brown-Sequard Syndrome . I would love to hear from people that have similar condition. Maybe we can learn something from each other. =]
    From what I can tell its rare and there arent many people that can relate. I had my injury around 6 years ago and I was able to regain most of my functions. After few years of intense rehab I can walk with one crutch holding it in my strong hand and AFO since I have drop foot on my bad side. My left side is almost back to normal not including sensation but it doesnt bother me. I can feel everything but it just feels differently .. My right side is the bad one. I dont have triceps at all .. My muscles on my chest are really weak ..I'm missing some muscle group in my leg as well.. cant move my ankle. Its really bizarre. Long story short at this point I can move around pretty well. I walk everywhere and I dont use wheelchair at all but it comes with a price of not being able to walk long distances.

    Recently, I read Dr. Wise blog and I learned a lot. Among many other things I learned that we only need 10% of connection in spine to recover and get functions back. This made me think that maybe I'm missing something .. maybe I didnt work hard enough to recover completely. I read some posts on this forums about people with Brown-Sequard Syndrome recovering almost completely and being able to walk without assistance. I feel that maybe I can get there myself. This really bothers me because my doctor told me just before stopping my PT that I reached my plato and wont be able to get any more significant returns. Since then I stopped my rehabilitation.I didnt take any meds just some baclofen in early years. After reading some posts I think that maybe I should resume my rehab and continue. What do you guys think. Can I get to the point of walking without assistance If I keep working hard?

    ps. Forgot to mention level of my injury which is C4/C5 .. left side is the good one with bad sensation.
    Last edited by BSgimp; 05-21-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Hello and welcome to the Care Cure Community Forum. My injury level is T-7-8, Brown Sequard and I'm (5) years post. Fortunately; I've recovered 90% function and I attribute this to physical therapy that began 2 weeks after my injury. I continue PT sessions and until recently scaled back to just 30 days per year. When I don't attend PT, I try to work out at the gym (3) days per week.

    The 10% connectivity Dr. Wise speaks of can in part be achieved through exercising various muscles groups simultaneously working toward (muscles memory). The theory being to repeat certain movements continuously in hopes the brain, nerves and muscle groups re learn their respective motor functions.

    I, like you have poor dorsiflexors. I purchased the Bioness L-300 (3) years ago and walk with the assistance of a cane. Prior to the Bioness I used a AFO.

    Your doctor was dead wrong. None of us here have plateaued. After 5 years of PT, I continue to see improvements in foot/ toe/ankle movement, balance and gait.

    While returning to physical therapy will not guarantee you will walk without assistance; you can build on the improvements you make in therapy step by step and who knows, you just may reach your goal. My docs told me I'd never walk again.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    c4/c5 Incomplete - NYC
    hey there. I'm glad to hear you recovered so well. Tell me how much of a difference Bioness made for you. I was thinking about buying this kind of equipment but I cant really afford it. Its almost 5k and I dont have that kind of money. Anyway, so what you are saying is that I should be focusing on my weak muscle groups and just keep doing it over and over. Yea, I will definitely start my PT back. Since I cant go back to real PT I will just go to the gym.

    Can you tell me what kind of exercises are you doing in the gym?
    Also, which cure from the one listed in Dr.Wise blog will benefit our kind the most? What do you think?

  4. #4
    Bioness has made a tremendous difference in my gait and confidence. I'm able to wear just about any kind of shoe with it.

    As of last year, medicare will pay for the device, including many insurances since it has been proven/documented as a safe and reliable product.

    A physical therapist or certified athletic trainer can assist you in the instructing you of the necessary muscle movement exercises. An example would be: My left leg is weaker than my right. I have had difficulty in the past bending my knee while walking. My PT and trainer work with me on developing a pattern of hip flexor, knee flexor and dorsiflexion working together to achieve foot clearance.

    Gym exercises include:

    20-30 minutes treadmill
    12 minutes arc trainer
    12 minutes elliptical
    6 sets of leg presses max out at 180 LBS (machine)
    4 sets of leg extensions max out at 70 LBS (machine)
    4 sets of Hamstring curls max out 50 LBS (machine)
    8 sets of Multi Hip max 40 LBS (machine)
    4 sets of Seated Press (chest) max 225 LBS (machine)
    4 sets of arm curls max out 70 LBS (machine)
    4 sets of toe raises for calves.
    Cool down includes stretching

    I have not read Dr. Wise's blog

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    c4/c5 Incomplete - NYC
    Thank you. Thats a lot of information and exactly what I was looking for. I guess its time to to get my ass back to work. Good luck to you. I hope you achieve whatever your goals are. You sure seem like highly driven individual.

  6. #6
    C5/6 Brown Sequard here injured 9/2/01. I walk full time unassisted and have since leaving rehab at about 6 weeks post. I've been very fortunate and most of my remaining symptoms are undetectable to the eye.

    Left side is probably about 70% and right side nearly normal. My left hand makes a good fist and has decent grip but opening it back up quickly is difficult. I still get minor spasms after sitting for awhile then standing and during sleep.

    I'm nearly 10 years post and still seeing improvements so keep working and never give up!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    c4/c5 Incomplete - NYC
    Hello gvinton.

    Thats really inspiring that you can walk unassisted. I would consider myself around 70% as well and yet I can only dream about walking unassisted outside of my house where I feel safe. I dont really know where I went wrong. I have regrets that i stopped my PT after my doc told me its over. Hopefully I can still catch up. Can you tell what are your thoughts on possible cure and how its going to affect us BS incomplete SCI.

  8. #8
    I hope for a cure mostly for everyone else dealing with SCI. For me, I'm not sure it would affect my quality of life much (at least at this point in my life). If there were any risk involved in a procedure, etc. I would probably pass. I have much more to lose than gain...

    I am concerned, however, when I read that some walking quads such as myself are experiencing loss of function (mobility, bowel, bladder, etc.) as they age. That would suck. That gets my attention. I'll try to stay active and fit and hope for the best. Off to the gym I go...

  9. #9
    hi there..

    im a c5/c6 brown sequard as well.. not many of us. you sound alot like me.. im 2 years post and my left side is the better side with crappier sensation (no pain, no temp) but proprioception and soft touch is a go.
    my right side however has a shit load of muscles missing too (chest, back, abs, legs, arms) all have clearly missing fibers.

    my riight hand has no digit movements but i have tedonesis which is better than nothing.. bowels/bladder still inactive aand like kelrod i use the bioness l300 but wishin i had that kinda upper body strength..

    hit the gym.. do as much physical movement.. keep your heart healthy and keep a positive mind
    c5/c6 brown sequard asia d

  10. #10
    Hi I have this unique syndrome but to me it is like someone shut off a switch in literally my whole left side of my body .

    I've Been like this for a long time /even posted it in here
    ( prob News Forum) I forget but needless to say I just deal with my disability because if my Grandmother lived very long with a horrible stroke then I can do without more back / neck surgery unless I feel it is going to be beneficial .
    I could blame it on broken neck etc...
    But I know that I have bulging disks and had been through enough surgery . I think my nerves are pinched actually I know in my heart that they are . But I havent been to a Neurologist in years as who cares !!!
    Someday I may find a good one who understands me . This is not easy stuff for me to talk about but I love Exercise so this is one of my favorite forums .
    the way I put up with it for so long is as my Accountant Joe says ;
    I just tough it out . I am not a complainer .
    Sorry I repeated but Brown Sequard Syndrome is unique I never met another person in a wheelchair who has it .

    Hopefully tomorrow i'll hit the gym I hope to at least .
    Great Topic

    Sincerely; GL

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