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Thread: i dont know if im complete or incomplete

  1. #1

    i dont know if im complete or incomplete

    all my doctor is tellin me is that im not goin to be able to walk again..when i ask him about my sci he cant even look me and my eye..so i desided to come here for some answers...im a T-12, 10 monthes post...i have had some sensation and some movement come back muscles are workni in my thights) it seem that most ppl stars off my moven a toe...im not able to feel or move my toes...the feelin and movement that has come back is working its way down slowly...i do sweat everywhere below my sci..i have no reflex and never had a spaslim ...anything would help

  2. #2
    tangy, the clinical definition of "complete" spinal cord injury is the absence of all sensation around your anal sphincter and inability to voluntarily contract that sphincter. This is tested by placing finger into the anus. If you can feel that or can contract the sphincter, you are probably incomplete.

    By the way, although being "complete" does mean a more severe injury, this is not as hopeless or irreversible as some doctors suggest that it is. The fact that you are showing some movement in your thigh muscles is a very good sign.

    Wise.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    tangy, the clinical definition of "complete" spinal cord injury is the absence of all sensation around your anal sphincter and inability to voluntarily contract that sphincter. This is tested by placing finger into the anus. If you can feel that or can contract the sphincter, you are probably incomplete.

    By the way, although being "complete" does mean a more severe injury, this is not as hopeless or irreversible as some doctors suggest that it is. The fact that you are showing some movement in your thigh muscles is a very good sign.

    Wise.
    Dr Wise

    I was injured before the Asia system 17 years. By this definition I am a T12 complete. I walk and have full use of my knees. I just cant move my ankles/feet and I wear AFO's. I can feel pressure and drive a normal vehicle without special controls. I have always been pretty loose as far as muscle spasticity. I do have spasms occasionally but they are not bothersome. My worst spasms are associated with Bladder/bowels.


    Does complete just mean what you said as more severe or is there more? One of my vertebrae was crushed and they picked slivers of it out of my cord. I believe it was L1 or L2 but I am fused from T12 to L3. All four of them had chips/fractures but one was crushed.

    I dont know whether I am A,B, or C either.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  4. #4
    Daisy, the ASIA system has been around for more than 20 years, and previous to that was called the Frankel scale. Unfortunately not all physicians were trained in its use then (and may still are not). It is important to know the difference between your orthopedic (spinal) injury and your neurologic (cord) injury. Low in the cord these are usually not the same. If you have movement in your hips and knees, you may be lower than T12. Where is the lowest area on your body where you have normal sensation? Do you have any anal sensation?

    I would suggest reading Dr. Young's excellent article on types and classification of SCI here:

    http://sci.rutgers.edu/index.php?pag...nalLevels.html

    For Tangy, welcome to our forums. You are beautiful! Are you still getting return? For many people this can continue for 2 years or more. It is too early to say how much you are going to get back. Are you still going to therapy? Can you get pool therapy? Walking in the pool would be an excellent exercise for you, and easier to do this with weaker muscles than starting on land. Is your SCI physician a physiatrist who specializes in SCI? If not, you may want to change physicians.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Tangy, We have found that the scientific definition of complete or incomplete does not have much predictive value for an injury T12 and lower where the end of the spinal cord is. You might experience 3 ways of improving: Your weak muscles might get stronger; your stronger muscles may learn to compensate for the lost or weak muscles and lastly, the peripheral nerves may re-grow in some fashion again, innervating muscles along the way at the rate that hair grows (slow!). So the hips would be innervated first and the feet last, if at all. This is a layman's understanding of what we have learned from a very wise physical therapist. Try to find a really good therapist and work hard. There are no guarantees and each person is different, but if your body is receptive, exercise can really help.
    Last edited by diane2; 08-30-2006 at 02:24 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NetoAnAstro's Avatar
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    Tangy, I hate the fact that you HAVE TO JOIN US as a SCI patient and not as a person that is just concerned of people with SCI. I hate that people have to get a SCI. But since you had to join, welcome to the best place to learn about SCI.
    AstrO

  7. #7
    Senior Member NetoAnAstro's Avatar
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    Tangy, from what you said that's returned, you will have more return just very slowly. EXERCISE
    Last edited by NetoAnAstro; 08-30-2006 at 02:27 AM.
    AstrO

  8. #8
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    KLD
    I read the article. I still cant tell. I do not have anal sensation. I only feel pressure. My butt as well as the back of my legs are numb. The top of my legs, knees, shins are normal. My ankle on the outside is numb but on the inside is tingling, stinging, and sometimes painful to touch. My ankles dont move and I can only feel pressure in my feet.

    Am I right in thinking S1 nerve injury and T12 cord level injury??

    Thanks for the information
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #9
    I'm C2/3 21 years post injury. I can feel muscles getting stiff and full feeling of lungs and stomach. Skin, I can feel my head and little sensation in upper chest. I have thought I was incomplete, especially since my diagnosis is a bruised cord, but I'm thinking I was wrong after reading this.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    tangy, the clinical definition of "complete" spinal cord injury is the absence of all sensation around your anal sphincter and inability to voluntarily contract that sphincter. This is tested by placing finger into the anus. If you can feel that or can contract the sphincter, you are probably incomplete.


    Wise.

    I don't understand, now I am confused, I am a T12 Incomplete? I can walk, not good, but the anal sphincter thing I cannot feel, nor can I contract it. I even went through Bowel and bladder retraining. But still no movement. so what do you call me?

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