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Thread: Injured and new to the forums

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Toronto Canada

    Injured and new to the forums

    Hello everyone,

    I just came across this site looking for people with similar injuries to mine, seeking some information and answers. I will try to be as detailed as possible to help you better understand my situation. About 2 months ago (June 7th 2004 to be exact) I fell off a ladder at work at 11 am. The height was about 15 feet. Immediately after I fell, a numbing sensation started working its way down to my toes from below my waist. I couldn't move my hip nor could I move my right leg or it's toes, but I kept bending and straightening my left leg to relive some of the pain on my back as I was laying on the stone ground waiting for an ambulance to come. After 30 minutes the ambulance arrived and I started the painful ride to the first hospital. Every turn or bump would make me scream as I felt like I was going to fall off or something.

    By the time I got to the hospital I couldn't feel or move anything below my waist. I had some x-rays taken and a cat scan and was told by the resident ER doctor that I had to be transferred to Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto for surgery. I was transferred with an ambulance that evening and I met with the surgeon who scheduled my operation for the next day at 1:30 pm. I was very drugged up and don't remember all the details that were going on, but the next day I was taken to the OR and the surgery lasted about 4 hours and was done by Dr. Finklestein. At about 8pm I was taken to my room and they did some test on my feet. I couldn't move anything but I felt a dull poking sensation when they would poke my toes with a pen.

    I was told that I had fractured my L1 and the doctor ripped me open on my left side, removed one of my ribs and replaced my L1 with a donor's and also put a bar between my T12 and L2 to stabilize my spine. The first 2 weeks were awful; I had pains all the time and couldn't move anything below my waist other than my toes which I could wiggle. By the end of the 4th week I was able to bend my right knee (the leg that went numb after I fell) while lying in bed and I had full sensation in it as well. My left leg had sensation everywhere except the left side of the thigh. I was also numb in my buttocks are and genital and I was on a bowel treatment plan and was doing my own ICs.

    At that point I was transferred to Lyndhurts rehab. I only stayed there for a week just to learn all I needed to so I could take care of myself at home, and I checked out since I didn't really need the nursing just Physio. One and a half months after my surgery (about the 20th of July) all of a sudden one day while I was going to transfer into my mom's car I gave my knees all that I could and stood up. My right leg was very strong and felt like before the injury but my left knee kept buckling and it would shake.

    A few days later I found out that I was beginning to be able to almost straighten my left knee. To make a very long story short, last week while I was in rehab they had me walk with the 2 bars on my sides. The instructor said I was doing really well and the only problem was that I don't know where my hips are when I am walking.

    The Problems I am still having, I still cant feel my buttocks or genital, however I was able to get a semi erection and had premature ejaculation, it felt like a physical release but I didn't really feel anything in my head. I still have to do my own IC's and I am now on my second UTI which I have been given Sulfamethoxazole for (My first UTI I was given Cloxacillin). I am still doing my bowel program. Sometimes I feel like I have to the bathroom and most of the time when I sit on the toilet I end up dis-impacting or letting air out.

    I also do my own digital stimulation about 2 times a day (once in the morning and once at night). When I wake up in the morning my left thigh feels like its on fire, but after taking my pain meds and sitting up in my wheelchair it goes away. Also lately before I started taking pills for my second UTI, I noticed when I get up or sit on the edge of the toilet seat or try to push while I'm dis-impacting, I get a little bit of urine leakage. My rehab doctor told me that could be because I have another UTI. The last time I saw my surgeon he said that it's highly possible I may never get my bowel and bladder functions back.

    I guess what I want to know is how accurate is my surgeons assumption? Is it possible that one day I will regain my bowel and bladder controls? What about the numbness in my genital and buttocks area? Will that ever heal and be normal again? What can you recommend/suggest for me to do to help myself in this situation? I am also looking into eastern medicine and herbs and anything possible to help me get back and start feeling better. It has only been 2 months, and everyone who has seen me says I am doing great and coming along just fine. But I would like to hear from people with similar injuries and professionals who deal with these kind of things. Thank you everyone for your patience, guidance and understanding.

    Mahan Mawadj

    PS. Some pictures here

  2. #2
    Go to the T-12 thread in the Life section. Alot of people there have about the same injury. I myself am a T 12 burst,incomplete. Had the surgery where they went trough the left side"Brutal" Still hurst there, rib and all like your's.
    as for the Bowel and bladder???? mine is still the same Numb I doubt that you will ever be the same down there. Sorry but that seems to be how most of us are. I can't get a erection at all.
    But stay here!!! these people will help you!

    They have given me more than any Dr. ever did

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Welcome Mahan. You've come to the right place. I noticed from some of your pictures that you might be married. If so, or if any of your family or friends are interested, this site welcomes the non-injured who have a stake in the healing and well-being of those with sci's. Please encourage them to get involved for information, support and encouragement.

    ~ "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~ Ambrose Redmoon

  4. #4

    Welcome. Based on your description, it sounds as if you had an injury to the tip of your spinal cord (called conus) and your cauda equina (the spinal roots below the conus) since the spinal cord itself ends at L1. It is often hard to predict how much recovery will occur. It is still early after your injury and recovery tends to come back over at least a year or two after injury.


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