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Thread: Question for Dr. Wise

  1. #1

    Question for Dr. Wise

    Dr. Wise:

    My little brother was injured a little over four months ago. His injury is T11/12. He is 18 years old.

    He attends an outpatient rehab facility five to six days a week for approximately four to fives hours a day. He is an ex-athlete so he is very aggressive with his workouts.

    He was diagnosed as incomplete, moved to complete, and I believe it has once again changed to incomplete. It is all so confusing.

    Anyway, I hear he is now able to pedal on a bike for a lengthy duration of time on his own and has even tried crawling. One of the people who works with him on occassion mentioned she saw his quads kicking in.

    I guess my question is whether any of means he is on the road to some recovery. I know things aren't cut and dried with spinal cord injury, but it would be encouraging to hear that some of the things occurring are postive. We have found that sometimes the doctors he works with are not very hopeful for recovery and they pass things off as not much at all.

    Also, my brother recently graduated from high school and is taking the first semester of college off to focus on rehabilitation. I read a message from you to beelady stating that a person with a spinal cord injury shouldn't forget to work their brain, too. I'm sorry to hear that people may forgo an education because of their injury. I agree with you that it is important to continue. It is my hope that my brother does just that after one semester.

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    If your brother has this much return already, this bodes very well for continuing improvement, at least over the next two years if not longer. It is impossible to say how much improvement or return will occur, but this is very encouraging.

    I agree that he should continue in an intensive exercise (and if possible) therapy program during this period. Can he get into a gait program where he lives? He certainly would be good candidate for a suspended gait program, with progression from there. A pool walking program would possibly be another option.

    I also agree that he needs to continue to expand his horizons and continue on with his education plans. Focusing only on his exercise and rehab is pretty limiting, and can be pretty isolating socially for someone at his age as well.


  3. #3
    Agreed with SCI-Nurse on all points.

    Big Sister, also, try checking out the "Exercise" forum.

    What part of the country is your brother in? Where is he participating in his therapy program? Hospital? Clinic? Outpatient facility?

    With more information we may be able to help further.

  4. #4
    Big sister, since your message did not mention it, can I suggest that your brother try swimming. Both pedalling and crawling is good and he should continue doing these. These tend to strengthen the strongest muscles. Walking in a swimming pool and swimming is not only less stressful to the joints and allows weak muscles to express themselves. Wise.

  5. #5
    My brother is doing his outpatient therapy at the Neuro Institute in Tempe, AZ. The facility is wonderful and the people there treat you like family. My family is very happy with the treatment there.

    Perhaps some of you know about this facility and can say whether or not they have a gait program. I do know that they currently do not have a pool for water therapy. I'm sure if they had the space for it they would have it. They have numerous machines/equipment that exceeded our expectations when we first visited the site.

    I will visit the exercise forum. Thanks for the support.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KLD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    You can find a lot of discussion about the Neuro Institute on the Exercise forum here.

    You might want to look into the adaptive PE/swimming program at Glendale Community College. Although not the same as the Neuro Institute, they may be able to suggest some pool exercises that he could do there. It is inexpensive to register for the course at this junior college...I know quite a few people who use this as their regular exercise site.

  7. #7

    Thanks for the recommendation. I was going to ask if anyone knew of a place to look into -- you are one step ahead of me. Also, I will look up the information on the Neuro Institute on this site. I appreciate your help.

  8. #8
    I have had CT lumbar with contrast. They had to tilt me 70-degrees. The contrast colum became obstructed at T10 also radiographs were obtained as well as ct scanner of mid and lower thoracic and lumbar spine. I have had posterior fusion by rods and transpedicular screws. They found that there is a moderate kyphotic deformity created in the lower thoracic spine where a presumed severe compressure fractuere involveds T10. There is a complete obstrution of the spinal canal due to posterior protrudind bone fragment into the canal , particularly on the left which prevents the contrast from extending above the T9-T10 level. It said that if surgery is concerded then correlation with radiographs and appropriate level is strongly recommended.

    The DR that said he would take all of this out of my back never looked at this. You know I will show him. I have postponed this surgery for three months but The pain is excrusiating. The screws catch on flesh when I streach or bend at T8&9. Where I have a 30 degree curve It has started to hurt day and night where I use to get relif when I layed down. At the curve it feels like sand paper is being rubbed on that area and keeps me awake at night.
    Different subject: Can you tell me what smoking cigarettes does to people with sci? Because my legs are freesing cold and kinda hurt when I pick one up.
    My guestion is can you explain all this to me? What the bone frag. could cause. What if they take it out.
    The ortho DR I have is very good and his colleague which is simi retired speciality is scolioses. But he does not explain anything. He said he didn't know if it would help or not.
    What guestions should I ask? I just want to be active again.
    Thanks Wise

    Mary Sibley

  9. #9
    Mary, I just answered your question in a topic placed in the Care Forum. Wise.

  10. #10
    I ask you a guestion and I don't know where to look for the reply. I sent it a couple a days ago.
    It was about him not taking the bone out of my spine. Can you help me find your responce or if you even got the e-mail
    Thank you, Mary

    Mary Sibley

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