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Thread: Am I confused about injury levels?

  1. #1
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    Am I confused about injury levels?

    Watching a Ted talk, ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvf_a0r5uBA ) I was struck by his illustration of the spinal column and the spinal cord where the neurological levels were sometimes several higher than there vertebra.
    Have I misunderstood my injury all this time (19 years)?
    I'm T12/L1Name:  Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.36.28 AM.png
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  2. #2
    It is important not to confuse the vertebral (bony) injury, if any, with the neurologic injury. While it is important to know the vertebrae that were damaged, what really matters in SCI is the neurologic injury. The spinal cord is significantly shorter than the spinal canal, so the lower you go in the canal, the more discrepency between the vertebrae with a certain name and the cord segment with the same name. The cord segment is named for the nerve root that leaves it, and the nerve root is named for the bone that it passes above (cervical) or below (thoracic, lumbar or sacral) as it passes out of the spinal canal.

    There is a similar diagram to the one you posted above in the articles on our sites by Dr. Young here:
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/index.php?pag...nalLevels.html

    When you say you are T12-L1, do you mean you fractured T12 & L1, or that this is the neurologic level you have based on your ISNCSCI (formerly ASIA) exam?? The latter determines the neurologic level of your injury.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    I was told T12/L1
    Basically, I am sensate to my groin line in front and to lower lumbar in back. (T12?) and have two small areas on the outside of both legs just below the trochanters (L1?)

  4. #4
    Senior Member marvin_cr's Avatar
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    Interesting Link from Dr Young. i never given it much thought until now. i also fractured the 2 vertebra at T12 and L1.
    However from the sensory chart, I have feeling around my torso in the T10 and T11 range

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    I was told T12/L1
    Basically, I am sensate to my groin line in front and to lower lumbar in back. (T12?) and have two small areas on the outside of both legs just below the trochanters (L1?)
    Sound about right.

    Did you also have spinal fractures and/or surgery? If so, which bones?

    Do you have hip flexors on either side? This would be needed, with at least a 3 muscle grade, plus mid-anterior thigh normal sensation, in order to call the injury L2.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    I'm not clear about bone damages; perhaps translocated then stabilized with Herrington rods? I know I was neurologically intact after the accident and the paralysis occurred when I was moved for a chest X-ray.
    No flexors and only sensate in vertical ovoid areas on outsides of both legs, so I guess the diagnosis is accurate.
    Thanks.

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