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Thread: Spinal cord atrophy,axons regeneration

  1. #1
    Senior Member cementhead's Avatar
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    Spinal cord atrophy,axons regeneration

    Once again leave it to a dumb construction worker.
    Being a little over 1yr post I am curious that with spasms in hands,legs,stomach,back,triceps wether the axons that need repairing are mainly damaged only at the injury site?I have read alot about the 1mm a day rule of thumb and wonder if continual muscle spasms help keep the axons alive and stop atrophy in the spinal cord?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by cementhead
    Once again leave it to a dumb construction worker.
    Being a little over 1yr post I am curious that with spasms in hands,legs,stomach,back,triceps wether the axons that need repairing are mainly damaged only at the injury site?I have read alot about the 1mm a day rule of thumb and wonder if continual muscle spasms help keep the axons alive and stop atrophy in the spinal cord?
    Atrophy in the spinal cord occurs because of axons have been cut off from the cell body. Let's say that half of the axons in the spinal cord are ascending from neurons situated in the lower cord and dorsal root ganglia (sensory neurons situated just outside the spinal cord) and half are descending from neurons in the upper cord and brain. When you have spinal cord injury, those axons that have been cut off from the neurons will die. Mammalian axons cannot sustain themselves forever. They need proteins and other substances synthesized by the cell body. Therefore, you should expect some atrophy in the spinal cord after injury. I don't think that exercise would prevent the atrophy. Also, I am not sure that there is any value to preventing that the breakdown of the axons that have been separated from the cell body. In fact, their presence may retard regeneration.

    Wise.

  3. #3

    Spinal Cord Atrophy

    My husband was injured on february 25th of this year. He had an MRI on June 20th and the radiologist said that there was a lot of edema and that the cord could not be clearly seen. We sent the MRI to Dr. Huang to see if my husband could be put on his waiting list for treatment. Bird(from Dr. Huang's office) replied that my husband had severe atrophy and probably would not benefit from treatment. We thought atrophy happened over a long period of time.
    Would the edema cause atrophy to happen more quickly?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EVE2005
    My husband was injured on february 25th of this year. He had an MRI on June 20th and the radiologist said that there was a lot of edema and that the cord could not be clearly seen. We sent the MRI to Dr. Huang to see if my husband could be put on his waiting list for treatment. Bird(from Dr. Huang's office) replied that my husband had severe atrophy and probably would not benefit from treatment. We thought atrophy happened over a long period of time.
    Would the edema cause atrophy to happen more quickly?
    EVE, What you describe sounds very strange to me. There should be little or no edema 4 months after injury. What level was the injury? Are there instrumentation that might be interfering with the imaging? My first suspicion is that something is wrong with the MRI.

    Wise.

  5. #5
    My husband had a T11,T12 sublaxation and the spinal cord was stretched and pinched between the two. He fell from a helicopter in Pakistan on February 25th and the doctor in Pakistan implanted rods from T9 to L1 and said he aligned the vertebrae. We got him back to Texas on March 7th and he had surgery again on March 11th to remove those rods and decompress and align the vertebrae because the first doctor left the bones as they were. He now has Herrington rods and fusion from T9 to L3. He is a complete injury below his navel.

    We questioned the edema finding but we were told that it takes months for swelling to go down. We are seeing a new doctor on July 29th.

  6. #6
    EVE, I see. Based on your description, I think that what the radiologist is referrring to as "edema" is increased signal from the spinal cord injury. This happens because there has been loss of cells in the spinal cord and therefore increased extracellular fluids. This indeed causes a signal that is similar to what edema produces. Over time, the extracellular space will shrink. The fact that he has rods may interfere with MRI imaging of the spinal cord. It is a good idea to get a second opinion and possibly a better MRI.

    Wise.

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