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Thread: Rehab Centers/Hospitals in Europe

  1. #1

    Rehab Centers/Hospitals in Europe

    Hi,
    My mother in law was in a car accident in Turkey 2 weeks ago. She has a C5/C6 injury and has feeling, but no movement in her legs. She is now able to breathe on her own and is on oxygen. There are no rehab centers we can move her to in Turkey. Our hope is to move her to a place in Europe and eventually to the USA where we live. I tried to research and can't find a list of places online.
    Another question is can they do more vigorous therapy on her legs while she is on oxygen? Or do we have to wait to get her to breathe on her own and then move her to a center? So far there has not been good guidance and we have been confused.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    I assume you have the funds to private pay for inpatient acute rehabilitation in Europe or the USA. Rehab is very expensive. To bring her to the USA you would first have to get the right visa, and then pre-pay for rehabilitation (usually 1 month) prior to her being allowed into the USA. Are you a citizen of the USA?

    I am not very familiar with European SCI rehabilitation programs. I will ask Dr. Young and our moderator from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to offer their advice.

    She should be getting range of motion (stretching) exercises already for both her arms and legs. This type of therapy does not cause her to get movement back. That is not something that any legitimate therapy can do. Rehabilitation is much more than exercising her legs. It includes counseling, occupational therapy, teaching her how to care for herself and maintain her health, teaching her how to operate a wheelchair, transfer, do activities of daily living, manage her skin, bowel, and bladder, etc. etc. etc.

    She is still early post injury and may continue to get some return with luck. Can you tell us her current ASIA and AIS scores? Does the sensation she has include the area right at the anus?

    Most rehabilitation centers in the USA have no problem taking a patient with a SCI who requires oxygen therapy. I would assume the same would apply in Europe. How old is your mother, and how was her health before this?

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by melike View Post
    Hi,
    My mother in law was in a car accident in Turkey 2 weeks ago. She has a C5/C6 injury and has feeling, but no movement in her legs. She is now able to breathe on her own and is on oxygen. There are no rehab centers we can move her to in Turkey. Our hope is to move her to a place in Europe and eventually to the USA where we live. I tried to research and can't find a list of places online.
    Another question is can they do more vigorous therapy on her legs while she is on oxygen? Or do we have to wait to get her to breathe on her own and then move her to a center? So far there has not been good guidance and we have been confused.
    Thank you!
    Melike,

    What is the hospital that your mother is in? I am assuming that your mother already has had surgery with decompression and stabilization of her cervical spinal cord. The fact that she has feeling in her legs is a very good sign. It suggests strongly that she has an incomplete spinal cord injury with a high likelihood of more recovery in the coming months. I hope that she received methylprednisolone (the high steroid) within 8 hours after her injury.

    Turkey has a long history of neurosurgery, going back over 150 years ago. I once had a Turkish neurosurgeon work with him and I was very impressed by his technique, which is quite different from the U.S. but remarkably effective and efficient. One of the greatest neurosurgeons in the world is Gazi Yasargil who trained in Turkey and then operated in Zurich, Switzerland where he taught nearly 3000 neurosurgeons and introduced the operative microscope for vascular surgery for the brain. The first reports of a spine tumor was reported from Turkey http://www.saitnaderi.com.tr/pdf/tarih/PDF50.pdf

    In terms of rehabilitation centers, three top places are University Balgrist Hospital in Zurich, Spinalis in Stockholm, and Sunaas Rehabilitation Hospital just outside Oslo. I recommend all three places highly. There is also a private clinic in Florence (Italy) that I am quite impressed by. Headed by Dr. Carlo Alberto Arcangeli, the Centro Giusti does very intensive upper body and locomotor exercises (6 hours a day, 5 days a week) for people with spinal cord injury http://www.centrogiusti.eu/eng/home_eng.htm

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Hi,
    She has an incomplete injury and she is ASIA-B on the legs and ASIA-C on the arms. That's all I know. She is 71. We are from Turkey originally, but live in the USA. She lived in NYC half the time and Turkey the other half. There are no centers in Turkey that will accept her. The country is not advanced at all in SCI. She is at the American Hospital now. We are private paying and thankfully can afford to do so.
    Wise Young, yes, her surgery was quite long, we were told it was to realign her spine...She had it the day after the car accident in which we lost my father in law.
    Thank you so much for the info. We are hoping to get her to Europe then back home to NY.

  5. #5
    Yes, we are all citizens in the USA. That's what hurts the most. Our home and lives are here, yet she is stuck in Turkey and is not able to get the care she needs. Like you said they are doing the range of motion exercises on her arms and legs, but that's about it. She was in excellent health before this. Thank you both again for your responses.

  6. #6
    Given your mother's age and the C5/6 level of injury, it is probably best if she went to one of the general rehabilitation centers that deal with both young and old patients and can provide a wide range of rehabilitation care. Spinalis or Balgrist would be good choices. She will need to learn how to use a wheelchair, bladder and bowel care, skin care, and be put onto a tilt table to improve her ability to be upright without dizziness of fainting.

    Wise.

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