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  • I am a walking quad. Regained this function in less than 6 months w/extensive PT.

    9 18.37%
  • I am a walking quad and regained this function within a year w/extensive PT.

    8 16.33%
  • I am a walking quad and regained this function with 2 years of my injury. I had extensive PT.

    1 2.04%
  • Iam a walking quad that regained this function after 3 years or more w/extensive PT.

    0 0%
  • I am a quad and have not as of yet regained walking ability.

    31 63.27%
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Thread: Walking Quads

  1. #1

    Walking Quads

    Not sure if this is the proper place for this poll so feel free to move it. I've noticed that there are quite a few posts from walking quads. I am curious how many are in our community and specifics of regained function thus the poll.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cpaul's Avatar
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    Hey Deb,

    lets do one of these and see how many walking T's or L's there are in the world?? I personally have met many walking C's Don't understand why it is so difficult for lower injuries to get similar results.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    cpaulm - I think the larger force required to break the spinal cord at lower levels means that when it does happen it's uaually a severe injury. It could also be because gray matter damage in lumbar injuries prevents regaining walking ability. Your observation is correct, though, for whatever reason. Cervical injuries often get more return than lower ones.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  4. #4
    cpaulm,

    I don't get it either. Obviously I'm a quad which is why I posted the poll. I'll post one for paras next.

    Deb

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Wow!! Ive never met another walking quad. I was beginning to think I was the only one. Nice to hear from you guys.

  6. #6
    Debbie, thanks for posting this poll. It is much needed. I also want to encourage all people with cervical spinal cord injuries to vote. Wise.

  7. #7
    bump up so that more people can vote.

    My experience with one walking quad is the main reason that reversed my pessimism concerning the curability of spinal cord injury. In 1981, I took care of Carey Erickson. He was one of the first patients that I gave methylprednisolone. He came into the hospital with almost no function in his arms and leg, with a C4/5 fracture. All he had was some sensation in one leg. I did somatosensory evoked potentials on him every few days for 72 days. In the beginning, he had almost no response on all four limbs. Over several weeks, however, stimulation of his posterior tibialis nerve in his legs showed evoked potentials in his brain on one leg and then the other. His evoked potentials were much better in his legs than his arms. Gradually, these increased in amplitude so that by 72 days, he had responses in all four limbs. He worked hard at recovery and was a "walking quad" by two years after injury. He walked into my office in 1984 saying that he was depressed. I was surprised and said that many people would love to be in his shoes. He said that while he seemed to be functioning well, he was really perhaps 60% of what he was before the injury. In any case, I offered him a job and he worked with me for the following 7 years and was one of the main reasons why almost every patient who came into Bellevue Hospital agreed to be randomized to the methylprednisolone trial. Unfortunately, Carey died of AIDS in 1991, shortly after the paper was published.

    Animal studies suggest strongly that about 10% of the spinal cord is necessary and sufficient to support substantial locomotor recovery. I think that the same is true of humans as well. Since very few people with spinal cord injury have severed spinal cords, I believe that most people have some axons that remain in their spinal cords. If a person has 5-8% of the axons in the spinal cord, they are below the threshold for functional recovery. However, if the person regenerates even a small number of axons, it may push them over the threshold. Also, some people may have more than enough axons crossing the injury site but the axons were not adequately remyelinated. In such a case, 4-aminopyridine should help restore function to such people. Finally, because spinal cord injury causes a prolonged period of paralysis, many people may have turned off their neural circuits in the lower spinal cord due to non-use. That is likely to be one of the reasons why intensive ambulation training have been shown to restore function to people, particularly those with severe but incomplete spinal cord injury.

    I think that a majority of people with "incomplete" spinal cord injury can become "walking quads". We don't see many of them at forums like this because most may not even consider themselves spinal cord injured. They have recovered from spinal cord injury and are busy working or doing other things.

    I often meet people at meetings who walk up to me and tell me that they had spinal cord injury and had been paralyzed for months but gradually recovered and now are walking. One of them is a member of the Kent Waldrep Board. If you meet him, you would never know that he was spinal cord injured. I hope that more people will respond to this poll because it would be very interesting to see what percentage of the CareCure Community are walking quads.

    It is true that there are fewer people with thoracic spinal cord injury that are walking. I suppose that they would be called walking paras but because there are so few of them, no name has been created to refer to them.

    Wise.

  8. #8
    Hey Dr.Young , Ok im a c5 inc, why am I not walking yet. I feel the muscles in my leg trying to move. However, the muscles are just too weak. Are there any intense pt programs out there? I took methyl, what else is it I can do? Or im just stuck till a cure come around? Why im not walking? Im inc....
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Mad, I know you don't like the people at Project Walk. But intensive "walking" and its related therapies are exactly what they do.

    As C5 inc you should pursue your rehab aggressively.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Mad - The theory of spinal shock and also swelling means that we don't gain full return immediately after our injury. It can take a long time. Unfortunately, this means learned non-use can set in. Viable circuits simply shut off. Extensive exercise, supported ambulation, FES and biofeedback are ways being developed to fight learned non-use. It also helps maximize the built-in plasticity in the CNS. Maybe it's plasticity that is responsible for why incompletes regain walking, or recovery of circuits that have shut off due to learned non-use, or both.

    Whatever the case, advanced rehab techniques and lots of sweat are what give us return. If you've got the time and money you should definitely go for it.

    BTW, 4-AP might help you, too.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

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