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Thread: Paralysed after SCI Surgery

  1. #1

    Paralysed after SCI Surgery

    My grandfather recently went into surgery for a bulging disc and has come out paralysed from the neck down. Before the surgery, he slowly lost movement in his right arm, then developed to both arms. But now has lost all movement but has all feeling. He is in a rehab, and has high hopes that he will learn to walk again. He has begun to move his fingers a bit, which is a good step.

    Does anyone have any info you feel would be helpful? I want to help the best I can.

  2. #2
    I am so sorry to hear about this. It is a reminder to all of us that spine surgeries can be unpredictable at times. But it sounds like his one HAD to be done, as he was rapidly worsening....

    I am going to honestly tell you that I am very very hopeful that he will improve and I would do everything to lift his spirits and encourage him to push at rehab. He is not too old to improve. My father was 65 when he was injured (thoracic spine fracture), and he is now walking.

    Your grandfather's spinal cord is probably surrounded by inflammation from the injury/surgery/shock of what happened, and it will take many weeks and even months for that to settle down. Some recovery happens more quickly, but some takes time. Many of us are still improving years later. NEVER give up hope. And never let the doctors/therapists give up on him because "he looks old".... keep his spirits up, let the doctors/therapists know you care and are pushing for him, and encourage him to work like crazy at therapy.

    It is EXTREMELY good that he his starting to move his fingers. This is an excellent sign. Make him keep moving them...... every day... several times a day. Talk to his therapists and find out what extra exercises you can help him work on while you're visiting him. It is wonderful that he has good sensation. Make sure the nurses are turning him every 2hours while he is in bed and that he is in a wheelchair where he can do pressure shifts every 20-30 minutes or else he will develop pressure sores that can causes HUGE problems. Ask his therapists about this.... I cannot emphasize how important this is.

    It is also important to eat well... lots of protein and a healthy diet (a multivitamin isn't a bad idea either).... and drink enough. This will help healing, protect his skin, and help prevent urinary tract infections.... a frequent complication for many of us.

    Get him a electronic picture frame to keep in his rehab room to give him family pictures to look at. Get friends to come to visit. And if he gets down/depressed I strongly encourage you to ask the doctors to help treat this. A low dose of a medicine for mood can make a huge difference, and keep him fighting.

    Thanks for coming here to ask for help. Let him know there are many here that can answer questions and give encouragement.

  3. #3
    Welcome! It can be a slow process but there is hope. Maybe there was swelling and resolved and can heal. Very hard to predict. Only time and rehab will tell.

  4. #4
    Spine surgeries are sometimes quirky like that being everyone responds differently to surgery .
    Best wishes

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Northern Calif
    I could not agree more with hlh. Help keeping him fighting to get it back. I know you can always find encouragement here

  6. #6
    Is your grandfather a USA military veteran by any chance? If so, I would strongly recommend getting him into the VA spinal cord injury system of care.


  7. #7
    I'm already at the similar situation. My Th11 must have been removed, cause it was pushing spinal cord's canal. It was complicated, besides of this I had scoliossis and so on. Surgeon said everything should be ok and that I'll maybe need a crutches to walk after that surgery. Unfortunately I needed wheelchair. I'm still in a wheelchair. It lasts 8 years and everytime I go to the neurologist he says me "oh, it was necessary, it was done properly". I can not find help anywhere. I'm trying to look for something by the internet, but I know my case is specific so not many people can really help.
    QuieraRod I hope that there where you're from are better specialists that will help your grandfather.

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