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Thread: Medical and Rehab Care

  1. #1

    Post Medical and Rehab Care

    OK, here goes. I'm new to this so bear with me. I am a caregiver for my wife, a 52 yr old female T-3 paraplegic from an auto accident 9 years ago. We are having difficulty locating a good rehab physician in the Charleston, WV (or proximity) area. Any suggestions out there?

    In addition my wife has not been seen by a neurosurgeon since her release from rehab in 1998 and she has made remarkable progress, to the point of her injury being reclassified by her former Physiatrist from "complete" to "incomplete". I was wondering if we should attempt to seek an opinion about her current condition from a neurosurgeon? A complicating factor is that we have no confidence in the neurosurgeon that treated her at the time of her injury and in addition aren't aware of other neurosurgeons in the Tri-State area (WV, OHIO, KY). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    For what purpose would you want her to see a neurosurgeon? Do you question the stability of her spinal fractures? Think she has a syrinx (have you had symptoms)? Seen any symptoms of cord or root compression? It is rare that there is any need to see a neurosurgeon on a regular basis or even at all after the initial treatment.

    As far as finding a physiatrist, this may be difficult in a state like WV where there is so little rehab practiced. You may need to look into going out of state (such as the VA or OH). Here is a site where you can find a listing of practicing physiatrists by state:


  3. #3
    Thank you for the link. I will research the site. I understand the lack of Rehab facilities in WV. The purpose of seeing a Neurosurgeon would be to see if there is any hope of any type of surgical procedure that could perhaps return some function. At the time of her injury the neurosurgeon that treated her ruled out the placement of a rod in her spine to stablize the injured area due to fractures above and below the injury. I would like to know if that situation has improved. And as stated previously, I have little confidence in the treating neurosurgeon.

  4. #4
    SCI-Nurse...Your comments about seeing a neurosurgeon are discouraging. It seems that so many in the field are jaded and casually write off any hope for recovery or treatment. Actually what I am looking for is a referral. Finding a physican in a phone book or from a web site is easy. You simply pick one out of a list. However, I find that word of mouth and referrals from folks in the field are far more preferable since you can draw upon a wealth of experience. As with everything else some professionals excel in their field, while others just "practice".

  5. #5
    If you want a consultation with a neurosurgeon because you think she still needs surgery and don't think that her original decompression or stabilization were done correct, certainly seek this out (I would suggest Univ. of VA Model System Center for this). If she has bone compressing the cord, then late decompression sometimes results in small return. Otherwise, it is unlikely that any neurosurgical interventions would make any difference at this point. It is not meant to discourage your hopes for a cure, but to help you not waste time on needless medical appointments (and move on with life) that I suggest this.


  6. #6
    Thanks. You're right on. There is a bone chip that has invaded the spinal cord from a compression injury. I would just like a second opinion to satisfy us that "nothing" short of a cure can be done. I realize that nine years out deems little hope for recovery but would still like to pursue a second opinion because of her remarkable improvement. While she has not recovered control below the waist, she has strengthened her upper body through conditioning and achieved far more than was first thought possible by her doctors. I will definitely pursue the UVA option. Thanks

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