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Thread: Recent Injury - Time to move again

  1. #1

    Recent Injury - Time to move again

    Hi all,

    I recently (Nov 23, 2004) injured myself in a bicycling/car-running-over-my-back accident. I came away with an L1 burst fracture, a few other fractures, and a seriously bruised spinal cord. I now have rods running from T12 to L4 and my brace is still driving me insane.

    My question is this:

    How can I move my legs again?

    I have had no motor funtion below my waist since the accident. My bowels are pretty well under control, but my legs don't do a thing. I realize the potential of never walking again, but it is way too early for me to even begin to doubt that I can.

    I would give so much to even move one of my toes, and I would love to hear anyone's ideas on therapies that might help. Please, PLEASE let me know what has worked for you, what you might have even heard worked for someone else - I will be endlessly grateful for any potential hope. Thanks.

    Not done yet,

  2. #2
    No, Mick, you're definitely not done yet. You're still in spinal shock. What worked for me was just laying in bed, concentrating on a toe, and ankle, anything I could try to twitch. Hours and hours of this. One day it worked and then the fight was on. I'm a cervical injury but know a lot at your level walking around. You'll just have to try, it all depends on how much of your cord was left hanging.

    "You need to march. You need to demand action. You need to stop feeling unempowered and do something...Freedom is your right. Until you claim your self-confidence and know your worth, no one will give it to you. It starts with you."-LetsGo

  3. #3
    Where are you going for rehab? Who is your physiatrist? Will you continue PT and OT after the brace comes off? This is where you are going to get your return for the next year or so and it will come. It's still early (you've heard this before) and "Eye of Newt and Sweat of Toad" will not work, but HARD WORK will. If you were a good biker you know about that.
    Good luck,

  4. #4
    Mickey, welcome to this forum.

    You may want to spend some time on the Cure forum to learn more about the new things coming down the road that may eventually lead to a cure for spinal cord injury. It is too early to tell if you will get more return, but certainly hopeful, but there is no therapy that we know of that can give you your leg movement back right now.

    Did you get methylprednisiolone immediately after your injury? This increases your chances of being incomplete.

    Taking good care of yourself is critical. Stay in shape, keep your joints flexible, take care of your bladder and skin. When experimental therapies are available, the researchers are much more likely to select someone who is in good health and has shown that they care about themselves by taking care of their health.


  5. #5
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tampa, FL
    Mickey, welcome to carecure. I thought you might learn some from reading this thread SCI T12 where many people with T12 and L1 discuss their recovery.

    I was also injured while riding my bike - so you aren't alone. I would also add what others have said - go to rehab as long as you can and do what they teach you to do - you should be doing stretching and range of motion if you have no motor return. My accident was in Oct 03 and I'm still getting return - hopefully you will too. Mike

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Copper Canyon, Texas
    Check Sit Tall Stand Tall on the internet.

  7. #7
    Senior Member teesieme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    back home in mn.
    Good advice here~ learn all that you can and keep with an exercise program that offers you the fullest one you can through r.o.m, standing frame, swimming, electrotherapy (stims the muscles in the legs- if no fes is available just yet) and whatever else you can figure/be advised to do at home or as an out-patient. Don't overdo it, but do it!
    Personally, for my son, I worked with him and have since his injury in 2002, figuring out a natural way of moving his legs for him daily just a few reps adding different things with time. Meaning I would lift, work my legs and pay close attention to what was, then apply it to my hub to see what he thought/felt as I did so and then apply as such with my sons legs- this also included working those toes little by little that at first came up and out (I believe causing toenail issues) I would gently ease them a few times a day towards a relaxed state and with time the ingrowns stopped and his toes no longer bent upwards, etc. He does his own rom daily but I also work his legs prior to his using leg braces for over a year now. Once he gained his balance in braces he now works towards squeezing those cheek muscles, then added a side to side hip swing session and is now working towards lifting himself up and down a few times with the aid of the walker prior towards fully sitting down. We also do a cool down phase a few reps each leg then before taking the braces off. In his standing frame he is currently working his feet by lifting up towards his toes a second or two a few times even if he is pulling himself upward using the frames table to do so. I believe it all helps, as long as it is in a natural, safe way. He has maintained good muscle tone and girth in his legs considering he hasn't yet moved his toes~ but he will someday I believe. His gains continue even coming up to three years. Believe and keep with it as you also find your way returning to your former life through modification, etc. Things will get better and easier with time, especially when you get that brace off!
    You're in good company here~

    Oh, p.s.- I haven't looked to see where you are from but if you can try biofeedback (*and it works for you*) do so! It really helped my son gain some control below his injury and increased the signal getting through quite a few levels down, showing a small percent of signal getting down into his toes.

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