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Thread: likelihood of recovery C-5 injury

  1. #1

    likelihood of recovery C-5 injury

    hello, I understand that no one can tell me the exact amount of return I will get, but I'm just looking for similar experiences and what has come of it. 14 weeks ago I fell from a balcony and suffered a C-5 burst fracture. I was originally ASIA B. At a month post, I was able to wiggle my left big toe, followed by all of the muscles in my left leg which I can now fully extend and lift. I have fair use of my left hand. At three months post I was able to kick out my right leg a bit. Educated guesses on the likelihood of me walking again would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    That's an impossible call, but definitely shoot for wheelchair mobility!

  3. #3
    I also had a C5 level injury. The ligaments holding C3-C4 together ruptured and the disc ruptured; I had resultant bruising of the cord at C5. I was also ASIA B on my first formal assessment. Initially I had nothing. Within a week or so my left side started coming back. Slowly, the right made some progress. At the end of my in patient rehab (~ 2 months out), I could walk about 50 feet with a walker and AFO's. After ~ 5 months, I could walk several hundred yards with a cane and 1 AFO. Today I use a cane and/or forearm crutches, depending on the setting. I can walk for about 45 minutes to an hour.

    It's such a tough call about how things will play out. My docs initially told me I'd never walk, maybe I'd learn to feed myself. I did a good bit better than that prediction. I would work like crazy with the return that you have. Keep pushing and trying new things from different angles. One of my docs at the Shepherd Center said that "on the 1,000th time you try a new movement, that could be the one that goes through."

    Good luck. Keep us posted about how things are going.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    So. California
    It sounds like you are regaining legitimate movement. Work really hard, you just don't know how far it will take you. Best of luck to you!

  5. #5
    mandimack, as the others said, impossible to predict SCI but your early recovery of function stacks the odds in your favor to walk. Take as few meds as possible. Where are you located?

    Dan, when were you at Shepherd? I was there in '95, Dr. was Herndon Murray.

  6. #6
    I think we'd all like to have that crystal ball. One of the most difficult things about an SCI is the unknown. You may get predictions from your doctors but your body will decide, in the end, what return you will get and what you will be able to do with it. You seem to have made good progress so far. Think positive and assume that will continue until you're up and walking again. Why not? I always believe in continued testing of my capabilities. After almost 4 years, I can still only move one toe out of 10. But....I regularly try to move all the toes and test sensation. You never know when that second one might start to work. Medical personnel will give various time frames as to when a person can expect return to cease. Truth is, they don't know. There is some practical sense, though, in understanding that at some point, you just have to accept what you have and move back into life.

    I hope that your progress continues and that someday you'll hit the road and walk away from all this.

  7. #7
    Totally jealous. That's all I have to say. LOL. Take some video and posted on YouTube so we can all see
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    All I wil say is, do not even stop, physically as well as mentally. They go hand in hand and sometimes tough to keep together and motivated. I am 12+ years injury and magically somehow just yesterday began lifting/raising my butt off my bed to transition to standing without use of hands or anything else other than legs. I do admit at times it hurts like hell, but most that seems to make progress and if I heel at it, hurting disappears and I keep moving forward.

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