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Thread: Questions about a recent injury.

  1. #1

    Questions about a recent injury.

    I hope this is the right place to post this.
    I have a very good friend who recently suffered a blackout resulting in a C6 fracture and a substantial head injury. She is an American working in Europe (Italy at the time of the accident)
    She was alone when it happened and didn't realize what had happened until
    She got up, turned on a light and saw the blood. At that point she called for help.
    They have been unable to do an MRI because of the staples in her head but they did tell her x-rays revealed the C6 fracture.
    She can walk and hasn't mentioned any loss of sensation but has spasms in her right shoulder and arm and a great deal of pain in that area. She is unable to use her right hand or move her arm far from her body between the spasms and the pain.
    They have told her she will be in a neck brace for four months and can not travel at all until after that (so no coming home for treatment or recouperation)
    She meets with a neurologist on the 14th. But the hospital doctor doesn't seem to be saying much about the extent or severity of her injury.
    Obviously, she has much to be thankful for, but she has always been an active and vibrant woman who loves hiking, camping, horseback riding and even competitive horse jumping.
    I'm not looking for definite answers just some honest feedback or information that can hopefully offer her some idea what lies ahead and what the chances are of her being able to resume her previous lifestyle.
    Neither she now I have much experience with these types of injuries.
    She is unable to use a computer for now and I'm just trying to find out anything I can to share with her and hopefully ease some of her anxiety.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Susqu's Avatar
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    Jackell, while her injury is serious, she seems to be lucky. Just because she has a fractured vertibre doesn't mean massive spinal cord damage.

    The numbness and other symptoms may simply be from bruising and will (hopefully) resolve themselves as the swelling goes down.

    That is the best view of what you have told us. The neurologist will probably have more info for you, and her, than a regular Dr.

    Since it is a very recent injury and she has so little inpairment is a very good sign in the long run, but now is the time to be very careful so that additional injury doesn't happen.

    any others have any insight?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Where in Italy is she? We did a tour at the embassy in Rome and hospitals are very different in their ability to handle different injuries. Our nearest consulate can help with which hospitals are best. Who suggested the neurologist she will see? And, in case she needs to fly home what insurance does she have or will it cover evacuation? No American is legally working in Italy without insurance...
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #4
    I agree with Sue. She could have a spinal root impingement if she has only the neurologic signs you mentioned. Did she have an MRI?? Was she seen by a spinal orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon?? If she can get medical evacuation (possibly covered if she is insured) or even a direct commercial flight to the USA, that would be best. I am not sure why they would not let her fly...we fly our new injury patients with much worse injuries than hers within a few weeks of injury all the time.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    She works for The U.S. govt.
    As for where exactly she is, I'm not sure.
    The doctor treating her in the hospital told her she couldn't travel. She meets with a neurologist next week. If there's been mention of an orthopedist she hasn't mentioned it.
    I was hoping she would call tonight as I'm not able to call her.
    Thank you all for your answers and ill update as I'm able.

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