Quote Originally Posted by cass
wise, sorry. i meant in my 6 months of rehab at rancho los amigos and my year in a "transitional living center", i saw ppl come in totally paralyzed from neck down and end up walking out. their injuries weren't "permanent" yet their recovery time was a few months.

i remember one guy in particular who came in totally paralyzed (rehab, dunno how long he was in hospital before). everybody talked about him, what a shame....good lookin guy just messin around with friends. he walked away 2-3 months later. then there was another engineer they asked me to talk to when he came in. same kind of story.

i am incomplete, asia b. my comment about "permanently injured" arises from so many ppl i have known and stories out there about recovery. so, perhaps i used the wrong adjective.

btw, i cannot answer your survey question as i have little idea what i was in first 24 hours. i do know i had my fingers. but somewhere in those first few days, i lost them. later, i lost an arm. but it came back. fingers didn't.

There are occasional people who recover walking even from so-called "complete" spinal cord injury. John Ditunno and his colleagues once did a study of the conditions under which this occurs. They often occurred in situations where there may have been complicating conditions that interfered with a good neurological examination or a head injury. But, even with careful neurological examinations, especially since methylprednisolone started to be used, a few people with ASIA A classification recovered sufficient function to walk out of the hospital. Perhaps it was the patient population that I was dealing with at Bellevue Hospital but a couple of them were drug dealers.

In recent years, I believe that many of the doctors have extended the period of "complete" injury to 48-72 hours because they can do a better neurological examination on the patient at a later time. Very few people who were "complete" or ASIA A at 1-2 weeks after injury recovered sufficient function to walk out of the hospital. In my experience, that is quite rare. On the other hand, people who are incomplete, i.e. who have anal sensation or even sphincter contraction, often did recover substantially.

I have commented in the past that if we understood and could recreate why some people recover more than others, we would have the cure for spinal cord injury. But, that was a tongue-in-cheek comment. I believe that there is a threshold of about 8-10% of the spinal cord that is necessary and sufficient for locomotor recovery. Many people are right on the verge of that threshold. However, those who are far from the threshold do not recover as much.