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Thread: Muscle Atrophy and SCI

  1. #1

    Muscle Atrophy and SCI

    Hi all,im a t 10 para, in good shape but have severe muscle wastage in my legs, i have had a broken hip and broken leg twice, my question is if and when a cure does happen will it help someone who is 34 years post injury, or will walking be an imposibility. Dont get me wrong i live each day as it comes and am not holding out for any miracle, just shooting the breeze. Anybody got any input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Alpine, TX USA male T4complete
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    Well I'll sh00t the breeze with ya. I'm a T4 complete. No muscles below injury either. Broke both my hips post. ALMOST lost my left leg mid-calf 6mos pre-sci.
    I look at it like this... I've had and dealt w/about as much pain both real and neuropathic as anyone. So IF they come up with a way for my brain and body to get back on speaking terms, I personally think we can manage to get these muscle fibers to working. That's my take.
    We were not born walking, we learned that in 2 yrs or less. So I figure since we were masters once, we should be able again. Since I don't really think it will happen anytime soon for me(I have no millions left,lol) I really don't worry about it.
    I put my energies and thoughts into how to get around better with these wc's we have NOW. If I want to dream about walking, I just put my mind to work at night on some of the thought trains that get me to dreaming good, and I ALWAYS walk in my dreams,lol. Funny here, I always find myself trying to explain that I "REALLY am paralyzed...don't know why I'm walking NOW"
    and I always wake up at that point and P00F* there goes my nice dream sh0t to heck,lol.

  3. #3
    I thought about that too. If there was a miracle cure would it work for
    folks who are 20 or more years post. So I started researching it a little
    just for fun and found an article on this subject. It said that spastic
    paralysis is the body's way of letting you know that things still work below
    the point of inury even though they are not connected. I also read in
    a study that the brain does not forget how to move the muscles that
    you are not able to move voluntarily. So I would think that with a lot of
    rehab after some sort of treatment for sci that muscles could be built
    back up. Maybe i'm wrong but it sounds good. later, matt

  4. #4
    I've been paralyzed 26 years (T-5) and have heard that the cure is 5 years off ummm.... 5 plus times. And like you guys I had a post-SCI injury (snapped my left leg bones totally in half just above the knee- they were never set properly) 16 years ago so even if tomorrow they could regenerate the spinal cord 100%, at age 50 I don't think I'd be able walk. The arthritis is/would be so damn painful I'd probably be begging to have my spinal cord recut. Not to mention the bone/muscle pain from sitting on my butt and sleeping on my hips for so long. All of our bones have been reshaped by our environment. I haven't had full (or any) body imaging done on all my osteoporotic bones and atrophied muscles but I imagine they're in worse shape than an 80-100 year old man's. Thank goodness we don't have working sensory nerves... we'd be screaming in pain. This is proven by those with incomplete injuries who suffer with CP. They say that even simple hemorrhoids are terribly painful. And that's just the tip of the pain iceberg we'd be up against when the sensory nerves come back. To physically rehab this mess would IMO be impossible.

    Hey, I wouldn't mind experiencing an orgasm before I die but even that might be too painful. Who really knows?

    I think us beat up and wore out old gimpers are SOL.... but I could be wrong.

    Maybe if you stand a couple/few hours everyday and exercise a whole helluva lot you can put off for awhile the degeneration of the bones and muscles and nerves but after enough time elapses I don't think anything will help. I don't want anyone to lose hope but a lot of effort would need to be put into retaining enough body health to make a viable comeback. The younger you are the easier it is for the body to heal itself.

    I wish I had better news but you did ask!!!!!
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  5. #5
    Even if a cure came, I don't believe I am first in line. Imagine, all those who need a cure, how many years will it take to operate and exercise everybody. I am 36 years post, I honestly think it is better to use the capacity on the young ones and the quads. As a th12, I can handle this.

    My mother have Alzheimer's and she got sick at about 60. I am much more afraid of being a victim of that disease. Now she is 80 and the way she is, I don't want to be. It is much more frightening
    TH 12, 43 years post

  6. #6
    Bob, you make much sense. I do think though other people will have a different view and I might think they make sense also, I guess we won't know till the cure is here. But, I wonder if this will be a topic for worlds most well known BioEthicist no other than Art Caplan Will it be ethical to cure someone who has been paralyzed for decades, I'm sure he will write a few pieces on this one.
    Don't ignore the Reeve Legacy, Remember he and Dana supported open research and fought hard for ESCR


    Support H.R. 810

  7. #7
    Hi BigBob,

    I don't see a problem with ethics, just a problem with human physiology. As soon as a cure is developed and approved by the "powers that be" and in my case financially covered by Medicare it's just a matter of ramping up the healthcare system to accomodate all the SCI cases. Especially the physical therapy part of the procedure and all the aftercare that will need to be tendered.

    Of course there will be a "pecking order" established. Those most likely to benefit the most will go first based on medical priority. Not unlike what we see in the organ transplant program. There will be those who can pay out of pocket for the procedure and they'll get tired of waiting and go to Pakistan or China or some other country that will offer the procedure without much of a waiting period and have it done there.

    Someday getting paralyzed will be just like getting a broken bone set. You damage your spinal cord and from the ER they take you up to the OR and do a stem cell transplant or some other procedure and in a few months you're as good as new. No need to worry about the effects of aging.

    Rushy111 asked for input so I offered my opinion. I have no special insight into the topic other than having been paralyzed for 26 years and thinking about a cure quite a bit. As the years have passed so has my personal hope for a cure. But I'm no expert and could be 100% wrong. I hope that I am.

    All the more reason to exercise and stay in as good of health as possible.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  8. #8
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    I think walking is out for me too. Foot problems and joints are messed up. (T12 20yrs)

    But I'll be damned mad if there isn't a return to bladder/bowel/sexual function. There's no excuse .. those organs aren't THAT far away from the spine! Not to mention the gastro problems or constant bladder infections that can lead to death ...
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnifer
    But I'll be damned mad if there isn't a return to bladder/bowel/sexual function.
    I'd consider that a 95% cure! And with adequate pain control and/or management would be great. A whole new life to look forward to.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  10. #10


    bob, i liked ur positivity ur last statement gave a smile on my face...

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