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Thread: Care of flaccid calves and feet?

  1. #1

    Question Care of flaccid calves and feet?

    I have a lower injury and thus lack of spasms, flaccid bladder, semi flaccid 'bowels and flaccid, atrophying calves and feet. (FES has not worked). I live in Oregon and my calves and feet get very cold every day.

    Since I've begun moving some of my thigh muscles they stay warm, but my calves and feet are not innervated (yet!) and are totally flaccid, they get EXTREMELY COLD every day. I do feel some temp. and when I go to bed I have to take about 40 mins every night to warm them to get to sleep or they hurt and I'll wake up shivering.

    Here's my question. Why aren't the drs. worried about them getting
    TOO cold and about the very poor circulation? What special care do I need to take? What are the dangers? I elevate them 1 or 2 x a day (lay down or put them up at butt level while i'm sitting) I wear thick mild compression socks and watch them for pressure sores.

    I'm active, but in a wheelchair most all day. I use a standing frame twice a day for about 45 mins. and am starting to use a bicycler. I wear high tops and strap my feet to the pedals... But I don't really think this helps the circulation in my calves or feet.

    I'm having surgery soon and need to tell the nurses what I need also. (bladder sling and hysterectomy for very leaky bladder.)

    Does anyone know about any statistics about my probability of getting blood clots or any other probs. from this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cali's Avatar
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    i have a question for you. i'm sure you get a little swollen from poor circulation, but do your legs and feet get very swollen and a little blue? i don't get that, i'm just curious.
    Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

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  3. #3
    Complaints of cold legs are common in both those with spastic and flaccid paralysis. As long as you have good pulses in your feet and legs, I would not worry about it being unsafe. Active warming (heating pads, etc.) should be done very carefully as burns can occur easily.

    Check out this previous thread:

    http://carecure.org/forum/showthread...ighlight=pulse

    (KLD)

  4. #4
    Cali, feet, not legs get pretty swollen when its warm weather (about 80 or more). They vary in color and get purplish-red.

    Nurse. Thank you. I read about taking the pulse. How do I determine the strength of the pulse? I'm not experienced in this. Should I take the pulse of my wrist and try to compare the strength?

  5. #5
    Senior Member cali's Avatar
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    o ok cool, the reason i ask is because i heard about veins collapsing in a person with a vein disease and they had very poor circulation in her legs. i was just wondering if that could ever happen to a person with sci, but i did a quick search and found nothing. guess you need somethinng more than poor circulation to have a vein collapse.
    Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

    Frank's blog:
    http://www.franktalk-scurry.blogspot.com
    My regular blog:
    http://www.ithinkithinktoomuchblog.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by darlagee22
    Cali, feet, not legs get pretty swollen when its warm weather (about 80 or more). They vary in color and get purplish-red.

    Nurse. Thank you. I read about taking the pulse. How do I determine the strength of the pulse? I'm not experienced in this. Should I take the pulse of my wrist and try to compare the strength?
    darlagee22,
    The pulse will be about the same.
    And I have had flaccid legs/feet due to polio..like forever. Never a blood clot problem..but the same purple color and extreme cold when the temp. falls below a certain level. Also some swelling in extreme heat.

    I don't know how to really keep them from getting cold. Doesn't really matter how much clothing you wear..and I walk on crutches. It just is it seems.

    Sitting too long will cause some swelling also even if you try to throw them around by hand. So elevation is the best way to deal with this. Or standing. Wishing for you to get to that point. If you can though while in your chair lift your legs with your hands and move them often. Just move them up and down.

    I don't know if it is the same in your situation, but while you are standing in your frame..be sure you have support for your joints. Toes..feet..ankle knees and hips. They can go kookoo on you without good support.

    Good luck in your surgery and keep us posted.
    Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.

  7. #7
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    Hey,

    I used to have "cold feet" a whole lot (I was injured on 12/27/04 while snowboarding at Whistler). I'm a T12 (broke L1) incomplete walker.
    I used to have to run my feet and legs under hot water to warm them up before going to bed. I'd keep a heater on them while at the computer so they wouldn't get cold during that period of inactivity. In the last few months my cold feet problem has gone away. . . due to some neurological recovery, lots of prayer, and constant strength improvement (contributing to the improved circulation).

    Anyhow, I read a few of your posts about your bowel issues and I'd like to thank you for bringing up those issues! It would have been difficult for me to do! Anyhow, my injury is also a lower-motor-neuron injury and I have the exact same problems you discussed. I have a few solutions and a few great suggestions from friends with SCI's and my primary care physician who happens to have a spinal cord injury and is a walker (the weird part is that I started going to him about 3 months before my SCI).

    BTW, I'm in Seattle and I think I may have had the same exact nurse you had at that "model" rehab unit! I had the exact same thing happen, but my bladder had 1000ml---the nurses downplayed it until the doctors found out and heads rolled!

    I have a question for you. . . have you found anything safe and reliable to harden your stool enough to where you don't have to worry about it during the day, until later at night? I've used some AD's like Imodium, but I don't know if they're safe. They let me go out and have dinner and watch a movie with friends without having to worry about using the restroom.

    Also, I also have a tough time with urinary incontinence. . . I avoid sneezing at all costs! A good laugh is usually followed by a quick trip to the bathroom to change my "Man-Pad!"

    Oh well. . . it's all part of life isn't it! The toughest part for me emotionally is the sexual side of things. . . I had decided to wait until marriage to do the deed, but then I got hurt (I was 23 when I got hurt, now I'm 24). I'm still waiting, but I'm terribly anxious about satisfying my future wife. Oh well, it's all part of God's plan. I can't feel a thing, but by the grace of God it's still functional!

    Finally, my friend with a complete T10 SCI is moving to Seattle in three weeks and I need to help her make arrangements. She's 21 (we actually met in the rehab unit), so if you have any suggestions about what part of town to live, what kind of apartment she should look for, etc, I'd be greatly appreciative.

    Anyhow, talk to you soon!

    Russ
    Last edited by Russ; 11-17-2005 at 02:48 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Hey Russ, always glad to help out another T12. I use Immodium and Fibercon. The combination is the only thing that works for me. I've told my SCI doctor and the neurosurgeon about using Immodium daily and none of them have said it may be a problem. Mike
    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  9. #9

    bowels

    i am still experimenting, i tried a magic bullet this am, 2 hours latter it still was cramping me up, 7 hours latter got a little butt snot, and it looks like i had a little leak before, enemeez works much better on me, my meds keep my stool like golf balls if i am not continualy taking colace..
    however this si much better than the accidents i had when it was loose
    cauda equina

  10. #10

    bowels slower

    i rember a med i received in mexico to stop the two step, it was a opiate base i think, i was thinking of trying it one day to see if it helps. i think it was
    lomotil
    cauda equina

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