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Thread: Los Angeles Man Working to Beat Comeback Odds After Spinal Cord Injury Leads to Paral

  1. #1

    Los Angeles Man Working to Beat Comeback Odds After Spinal Cord Injury Leads to Paral

    Los Angeles Man Working to Beat Comeback Odds After Spinal Cord Injury Leads to Paralysis

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    QUADRIPLEGIC, PARALYSIS, SPINAL CORD INJURY
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    According to the diagnostic scans, Leon Smith would never be able to reach out with his arms, grasp with his hands or take another step. But the X-rays and MRIs were completed last August after Smith suffered a devastating injury to his spinal cord. Today, the Los Angeles resident is working toward resuming a normal life after two operations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center gave him a chance to beat overwhelming odds.



    Newswise — According to the diagnostic scans, Leon Smith would never be able to reach out with his arms, grasp with his hands or take another step.

    But the X-rays and MRIs were completed last August after Smith suffered a devastating injury to his spinal cord. Today, the Los Angeles resident is working toward resuming a normal life after two operations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center gave him a chance to beat overwhelming odds.

    “This is a one-in-a-million case,” said Justin D. Paquette, M.D., neurosurgeon at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. “He was quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent (unable to breathe on his own). A patient who is in this condition, with persistent spinal cord compression for even 24 hours, has essentially zero chance of recovery. Mr. Smith had been like this for almost a week before he came to Cedars-Sinai.”

    The spinal cord injury occurred without warning. An undiagnosed and asymptomatic infection in his neck had eroded and weakened two vertebrae, silently exposing his spinal cord to increasing risk. Smith said he was working at his job as a security guard at a grocery store when he felt a “pop” in his neck. Not expecting anything serious, he continued to work.

    “I worked like that for about another week and a half. Headaches came and progressively got worse – and I’m one of those people that … never had headaches,” he said. “It got to the point where I could barely hold my head up, so I had a friend take me to the emergency room (at another hospital).”

    His condition deteriorated rapidly. Within a day or two, Smith, 54, [note: he will be 55 on April 15, 2007] lost the ability to move his extremities or breathe without assistance. As the degree of his injury began to be realized, it was clear he needed specialized neurosurgical expertise. Although the full extent of his injury had taken more than a week to develop, his quadriplegia and prognosis were the same as if he had suffered a sudden traumatic injury, such as the fall from a horse that paralyzed the late actor Christopher Reeve.

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    http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/528803/?sc=rsmn

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by manouli
    “This is a one-in-a-million case,” said Justin D. Paquette, M.D., neurosurgeon at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders. “He was quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent (unable to breathe on his own). A patient who is in this condition, with persistent spinal cord compression for even 24 hours, has essentially zero chance of recovery. Mr. Smith had been like this for almost a week before he came to Cedars-Sinai.”
    Well, that's a load of crap. My cord was compressed for almost 3 weeks before I had surgery and I was able to stand and walk afterwards. None of my doctors thought that was so miraculous. Lucky, but not some one-in-a-million thing.

    C.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Racing
    Well, that's a load of crap. My cord was compressed for almost 3 weeks before I had surgery and I was able to stand and walk afterwards. None of my doctors thought that was so miraculous. Lucky, but not some one-in-a-million thing.

    C.
    I thing what they are saying was unusual was the recovery from the abcess, the full need for a ventilator and then the recovery. Miracle is used to often but isn't it great he had such a good recovery?

    Just wondering, Are you still a walking para today? Do you drive with hand controls or without?
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cheesecake
    isn't it great he had such a good recovery?
    Sure!

    Just wondering, Are you still a walking para today? Do you drive with hand controls or without?
    Unfortunately, I dealt with a nasty bout of syringomyelia a few years after my initial accident. I lost everything I had recovered and then some. The good news is that I regained full use of my hands and right arm and most of the electrical pain has gone away. The bad news is that the muscle atrophy I sustained during the two years I was dealing with the syrinx means that I can no longer walk or even stand on my own. I also used to be able to drive an automatic without hand controls, but I can't do that anymore either. I use Mobility Products and Design controls on my cars that have automatic transmissions and RediAuto Sport's controls on my street cars with manual transmissions.

    C.

  5. #5
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    Syrnx

    Tiger... I raced too. I crashed, T-12 complete 4 years post. 24-7 terrible pins and neddles, electric shoots, skin pain terrible to touch... awful situation. How woud I know if I had a syrinx? I feel hands get tingly sometimes... when im constipated? But I worry about a sryinx? Anyway to know other than a CT scan or MRI.
    Mike (Florida)

    Cant we get 1 do over?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mike bauer
    I raced too. I crashed
    Motorcycles, right? I never raced those. Just had a street bike.

    24-7 terrible pins and neddles, electric shoots, skin pain terrible to touch... awful situation.
    Ish! Sorry to hear that. My electrical pain is mostly gone, I still have that burning, crushing thing happening in my back and legs. Sux the life right outta you. Have you tried Neurontin or Lyrica? The former worked for me and my mother and the latter works for a good friend of mine.

    How woud I know if I had a syrinx?
    Do you have rods or other hardware implanted? AFAIK, the only way to be sure about the syrinx is an MRI. I would HIGHLY recommend talking to a neurosurgeon and getting an MRI done as soon as possible. I put mine off for months. I had increasing pain and decreasing motor function that my doctor correctly attributed to syringomyelia, but it wasn't until I was no longer able to stand that I finally did what he told me to do. Don't make the same mistake.

    I feel hands get tingly sometimes... when im constipated? But I worry about a sryinx?
    I don't know if someone with your level of injury can suffer from dysreflexia, but you should ask about that too. When I get too hot my hands and face start to get tingly and then numb. Weird.

    Talk to a doctor. It's the only way you'll be sure and you really don't want this kind of thing to get worse.

    C.

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