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Thread: Stepson broke T4-6 last Saturday

  1. #1

    Question Stepson broke T4-6 last Saturday

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here, stumbled upon when researching SCI. My stepson was in an accident Dec 10, had surgery that night. Broke T4-6. I'm really looking for information on what to expect in the next week(s), month(s). I know every injury is different, and of course we still don't know to what extent his injuries are. He can feel when you touch him but can't move his legs. He's still in ICU right now, as they're having difficulty stabilizing his blood pressure, and he's still not really eating.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. He is in Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.


  2. #2
    Thank you, we know it will be a long road. He can feel everywhere (dull) when you touch him but has no movement. He is 19. Thanks for the info about the blood pressure, that helps. Have you heard if it's possible that he can learn to walk again with this kind of injury?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Welcome to CareCure. By blood pressure problems I assume you mean extremely low BP. As smashms so aptly put it, in the next months he will be training for his new normal. Having an SCI now is very different from 30 years ago. Today there are much better chances of complete recovery. Encourage them to take rehab very seriously; it is a very short opportunity these days.

    Lyndhurst Rehab is a bit of a gong show, or at least it was in the late 80s. Great rehab, but partying was rampant.

  4. #4
    lol, I never would have thought of that, sounds like a frat. Thanks for the smile I'm not sure where he will be sent yet, but we will see to it that he takes it seriously, I agree from what I've been reading it makes all the difference, how hard you work especially in the first few months.

  5. #5
    oh and yes his blood pressure keeps going very low

  6. #6

    Make sure they are checking his skin and turning him so he doesn't develop pressure sores, this is critical.

  7. #7
    Hi Jodi,

    My husband Earl fell 30 ft. from a tree, and had a T12 burst fracture 7 months ago. He was flown by helicopter to Shock Trauma at the University of Maryland Med Center. When he was admitted the MRI showed a 70% compression of the spinal cord, and he couldn't feel anything below his waist. He could move his left foot a tiny bit. They did surgery, and they did not expect him to walk again. It was a very grim picture, to say the least.

    For the first 3 days he had nothing below the waist - no feeling, no movement. On day 4 he moved his rt. leg a little, and that was just the beginning. He went to inpatient rehab for 6 weeks, and they had him up and walking with a walker on his 3rd day there. It wasn't pretty, and only a short distance, but he did it.

    Fast forward 7 months, and today he is walking with AFO braces on both legs (you can't see them if he is wearing pants). He went from wheelchair to walker to 4 prong canes, to 1 regular cane. He still has issues with nubmness on his feet and the back of his legs, and balance, but he is walking very well. He has just a slight limp, and he is only using his cane outside on uneven ground now.

    I know that when he had his injury I found a lot of information here in the beginning, because the doctors tell you so little. But some of it was scary too, because so many people don't have a lot of return. Our nurse case manager (it was a work injury so we have to have a case manager) told me that the dr's just don't know in the beginning, and they tell you very little. She said that where they are after surgery is just a starting point, and everyone is very different. Needless to say, when we went to his neurosurgeon for his first follow up, he was so excited to WALK into his office (with his walker at the time) and prove the doctor wrong!!

    I hope that your stepson has a wonderful recovery as well. Feel free to ask any questions.


  8. #8
    Thanks so much Missy, a huge congrats to you and your husband! How wonderful I would be thrilled if he could walk clumsily even if it takes some time. You are right, they tell you very little and I guess that's why, they just don't know. I also read that the damage can spread over the first weeks or even months so they really wouldn't know long term. It's just good to hear that it's possible. Lou is not moving anything, I think he'd be super excited if he could get a toe to move! It's just been 4 days so maybe we will get some movement yet, you give me hope. Thank you!

  9. #9
    "Make sure they are checking his skin and turning him so he doesn't develop pressure sores, this is critical."

    They have been putting pillows under one side and then the other, they said to prevent bedsores, I'm not sure about the skin, I will ask when I'm there tonight. I know they did give us a pamphlet on taking care of the skin but they haven't talked to us much about it. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Hi Jodi, I'm so sorry to hear about your stepson. It certainly is something to shake a family up. You have an important thing going for you....a reasonable understanding of what might happen and how long it might take. You're right that every recovery is different.

    The best thing you can do for your stepson is stick with him and encourage him. Whatever recovery he gets, make sure he makes the most of it. It will be his job for a long while.

    In the meantime, help his recover as much of his life as is possible and get him back to as many familiar activities as possible. Recoving from something as traumatic as he's experiencing can be an isolating experience, even when you're surrounded by people.

    I wish him and the family the best as he makes his way through recovery. Use the people and resources on this site to get answers and support whenever you need it. I'm rooting for you!

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