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Thread: New T-12 Complete

  1. #1

    New T-12 Complete

    Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and also a new T-12 patient. My injury was May 7th of this year. I spent 6 weeks in the hospital but am home now attending outpatient therapy twice a week. I have no bowel or bladder control but definitely hope to gain that back. I have hips and ab muscles which helps alot. Just this past friday I was fitted with some leg braces and with the help of my therapists took a couple of steps. My hip muscles are very strong. My question is, I see alot of T-12 incomplete here but no completes: Is is possible for a T-12 complete to regain his bowel/bladder control? I do hope to regain both but its not the end of the world if I don't...I feel lucky to be alive.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    So. California
    Welcome to CC. I don't have the answers you are looking for, however, it sounds like you are getting some good return. Your injury is so new that anything can happen. Work hard, REALLY HARD and you may be one of the lucky ones!

  3. #3
    Welcome Kayrog. Dang, sounds like you are doing great. Mombo is so right telling you to work really really hard.

    Your injury is really new, a lot of the spinal connections could still be in shock or so weak they just don't registar yet. I know guys who got much return as late as 9 years later. It's not that the cord repaired itself but more than likely worked them in ways they didn't or couldn't before and the core muscle got stronger..

    As for B&B coming back, in many cases it does. If not at least you have the capacity to be 100% independent. What comes back will come back, right now is the optimum time to work your butt off towards that goal. It's going to be okay.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Susqu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Northeast Maryland
    Sounds like you have already gone beyond the T-12 level of function. Hip flexors dont usually kick in till you get down to around the L-2 level of function. This either tells me that you're WAY incomplete or that your functioning level is lower (read better) than your injury level.

    I have a T-12 complete injury and believe me, i only wish I could control my hips in any manner.

    Like everyone else is telling you, your injury is still too recent to know where it may settle out. Most Dr's I've talked to say that there's about a 2 year window that you may get full return or not. Just keep trying and working at things, for science cannot predict just how much you may get to return.

    Good luck, and keep up the good work.

  5. #5
    Madsen is right. Regardless of the outcome down the road, you will be independent either way. This is absolutely the most important thing to remember. Work work work extremely hard for the first 18-24 months. There are bladder and bowel exercises. I was injured in 1999. Shortly after I took a bladder function test. My urologist told me I'd never get bladder return, period. Within 4 years I was able to void throughout the day on my own, using single-use catheters in morning and at night. One thing you'll learn about spinal cord injury is that each and every one are a bit different, and although doctors have educated suggestions/opinions, they're not final conclusions.

    You seem to be light years ahead of me 1 year post-injury, as you've already found Care Cure Community, and 12 years post injury I've just now become a part of the community. Good luck to you KayRog.
    "Be stronger than all your excuses...."

  6. #6
    Here's a o;d thread with T12 incompletes and completes. Hope it helps!

  7. #7
    Welcome KayRog,

    I can't help much as I am a quad but you will find an abundant amount of help and friends here.

    Good luck.
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne

  8. #8
    I am T12 complete. I have bowel and bladder sensation, no true control. It helps with timing though. I have no hips, but I have some muscles in my thighs firing. I can use leg braces but due to spasms can not get them on alone. SO I rarely use them and if so it is for exercise and stretching rather than function. Good luck to you.
    If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

    Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.

  9. #9
    Welcome to the forum, KayRog, and best wishes with your rehab.

  10. #10
    Certainly sounds like you're incomplete. Many people are misdiagnosed as complete when injured - my son was.

    Work hard and exercise, exercise, exercise. Consider pool therapy too. That made a big difference for my son (L1).

    Your injury is still very new, even just using the muscles you have control of now you will make great strides in learning how to use them to do things you wouldn't believe possible now.

    My son started with KAFO leg braces and they were great -- he used them with a walker to start with before moving to loftstrand crutches -- if nothing else they are good for standing and a lot cheaper than a standing frame. Just relearning how to be upright is huge -- plus it is really good for your body.

    Best wishes.
    Ugh, I've been kissed by a dog!
    Get some hot water, get some iodine ...
    -- Lucy VanPelt

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