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Thread: Am I complete or incomplete?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rollin Rick's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    B ville, New York, USA

    Am I complete or incomplete?

    I'm a little confused. I was told that I am C4, C5 incomplete. My left side I can feel down to my elbow but unable to flex. My right side is considered C5 I'm able to flex my elbow but unable to lift my arm. Now the part that confuses me is that I can feel the top my hand, a little numb, about 65% to 70% feeling, also I have a spot on my palm about the size of a half dollar by my thumb which is almost full feeling. Is this considered C6 sensory? Is this also considered incomplete? Other than that I have no other feeling anywhere below my injury, just plenty of spasms.

  2. #2
    Rollin, the definition of ASIA A (which is sometimes used as the definition of "complete" spinal cord injury) is the presence of any level of the spinal cord below which you have no voluntary motor function or feeling. As you may know, I don't subscribe to the notion of "complete" or "incomplete" spinal cord injury. Of course, there are different injury severity.

    A C4/5 injury should have left you with just feeling in your shoulders and biceps function. Remember, the neurological level is defined as the lowest level in which you have "normal" function. It sounds as if you have recovered some function below C4/5. The top back (dorsum) of your hand on the side of your thumb should be C6. The middle dorsum of your hand is C7. The lateral dorsum (on the side of your little finger) is C8. The C6 motor level should include some wrist extensor. In other words, you should be able to lift your hand upward. C7 innervates your triceps, the muscle that straightens out your arm at the elbow. From your description your neurological level is C5 and you have some function down to C6. Depending on whether or not you have any anal sensation or ability to contract your sphincter voluntarily, you may or may not be an ASIA A.

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