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Thread: Chelle's Question--New Injury

  1. #1

    Chelle's Question--New Injury

    Junior Member

    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: Bakersfield, California
    Posts: 1 Im not sure if this is the corret place to ask my qusetion but I will anyway. My nephew is a C5, however the doctors can not decide if he is complet or incomplete. I was wondering if that is normal or what? Im going crazy trying to figure it out. Any help would be great.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  2. #2
    Hi Chelle,
    I moved your question to a new thread so you would get replies. When was your nephew injuried? If it was very recently, it is most likely too soon to know. Many folks have been told that they were completes when in fact they were not.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  3. #3
    Junior Member Chelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bakersfield, California
    Thank you for your help!! He was injured on July 27 so a week ago. That is so good to hear. Im guesing then maybe him beeing a quad can change aswell?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    New York
    Chelle, Sorry to here about your newphew injury. I'm sure you will find out more as time goes one. I have found this site very helpful I hope you do to.

  5. #5

    My family and I are going through the same situation right now. We are learning that it is so important to be with great doctors and rehab specialist. We have asked for second and third opinion. Keep praying. Best of luck.


  6. #6
    So sorry to hear about your nephew's injury. It's always devastating for me to hear about new people who experience a spinal cord injury. I hope he's under the care of good surgeons and that he's transferred to a model SCI center or CARF accredited acute rehab facility.

  7. #7
    First, start out with reading this article by Dr. Young:

    Acute Spinal Cord Injury

    Ask if any of the physicians are trained in and know how to do an ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) evaluation. This would involve both an extensive muscle and sensory exam, and determination of the current degree of completeness. You can read an article about this here:

    Spinal Cord Injury Levels and Classification

    At this point, completeness is not really the issue. Very often this changes. You cannot tell the degree of completeness from an MRI, CT scan or even by looking at the cord during surgery. A good physical exam is needed. Frequently the amount of completeness changes during the first weeks or months after injury. Many people who appear complete at first end up not having a complete injury. There is nothing the physicians can do to change if he is complete or incomplete at this point, so arguing about it is pretty much a waste of time. Did he get methylprednisilone when first injured? This increases his changes of being incomplete. Did he have appropriate spinal cord decompression and stabilization surgery? This also helps. Other than this, it is time to get him to rehab without delaying any further.

    The issue right now is getting him to the proper SCI center ASAP. Try to avoid going to just the closest general rehabilitation center simply because it is close by, affiliated with the acute care hospital, etc. The Model SCI System Centers closest to Bakersfield would be either Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose or Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Hospital in Downey. Both are county hospitals, so sometimes taking out-of-county Medicaid patients can be an issue. Does he have other insurance? I assume he not active duty military or a military veteran? If he is, there are excellent SCI centers at the Palo Alto, Long Beach and San Diego VA Medical Centers.

    These are the only programs that are CARF accredited as a Spinal Cord System of Care (SCSC) for rehabilitation in CA:

    California Pacific Regional Rehabilitation Center
    San Francisco CA

    County of Los Angeles - Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
    Downey CA

    Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Rehabilitation Center
    Vallejo CA

    Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Center for Rehabilitation Medicine
    Northridge CA

    Spinal Cord Injury Center, VA San Diego Healthcare System
    San Diego CA

    St. Jude Medical Center
    Fullerton CA

    VA Long Beach Healthcare System - Spinal Cord Injury/Disorders Health Care Group
    Long Beach CA

    VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Spinal Cord Injury Service
    Palo Alto CA

    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 08-04-2006 at 07:41 PM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Chelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bakersfield, California
    Thank you to all of you for your psot. Yes he did get the meds you are talking about as soon as he got to the hospital and again after his surrgery. He leaves tomorrw for San Jose. He said he does not care if he ever walks again he just wants to be able to use his hands and arms. I am so very proud of him!!! I have told all of our family and friends about this web site so I hope to see them here soon. In the short time I've been on here I have found some great info!!!!!!!! Again thank you to all of you.
    "Perfectionism is the highest order of self-abuse"

  9. #9
    Junior Member Chelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bakersfield, California
    They got my nephew in to the rehab clinc yesterday. After doing all there evaluations they have now decied he is not a C5 rather a C4 C5 complete. So yesterday was not good for him or my sister. I told them both to keep there heads up nothing is in stone yet. I have sugested to my family that we all go to some kind of counsling does any one have any suggestions on what kind of family ones are out there? I dont know how my sister is doing this all with three other kids. I only have one child and I've been such a mess since this happened. She is such a wonerful mom!
    "Perfectionism is the highest order of self-abuse"

  10. #10
    Basic family counseling should be part of the rehabilitation program already. Speak to his social worker or psychologist. If they don't provide it, they can provide a referral.

    It is not uncommon that the injury will be more accurately diagnosed once the person gets to an expert center, as many hospitals and doctors are not trained in the correct and accurate use of the ASIA scale. Just keep plugging...the name of the injury at this point has less to do with his prognosis than whether or gets some return or not, and there is still time for this to occur. It is also not unusual for the person to be more "down" at the end of the first week of rehab. Unfortunately at first we spend a lot of time doing evaluations, which can kind of throw the person's current inabilities in their face. We need to do this in order to plan what to do and what the potential is for now. Just keep on being supportive of him, and point out the gains he is making (he may not even notice them himself). Building up time in the chair is a is sitting more upright. Little things need to mean a lot right now.


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