Hello everyone. Have you or have you heard of anyone recovering additional function after their spinal cord injury 5,10+ years after injury?
If someone has recovered any additional function after such a long period then I would be surprised-if we are talking about nerve regeneration ( though I never say never ). Additional function has been acquired via devices that have been developed and I expect this will continue.
I haven't heard of that happening, Victory. There are some expensive 'nutritional supplements' that I would like to try (Neurotrophin from Standard Process), but even if I could afford them, I wouldn't expect any huge improvement. In my case, I would be hoping for something like improved bowel function.
I'll jump in and add something else, while we are on the subject....Even when there are 'studies' that we could enroll in, after reading some of the awful results of the drugs, shots, surgeries, probes, inplants, re-routing, etc., I, for one, am not eager to be the "poster girl" for a new cure. Reading about arachnoiditis (tumors within the spinal column), this condition usually starts with a shot, a surgery, or an injury that violates the spinal fluid area. The body has no immunity defenses in that area. So, no matter how brilliant the doctor and his team, they are operating in unchartered territory. They can't undo whatever they start.
Post by softballdad on Dec 1, 2017 14:05:36 GMT -8
I am 38 yrs post but am classified as complete. I have no feeling below the injury line C6-7. I had some return in strength from rehab and PT but no significant return to my fingers or legs. If you are classified as incomplete then return can come later and progress back slowly. Nobody can predict this including doctors.
Post by ladylimpsalot on Dec 2, 2017 13:10:04 GMT -8
I wish! Victory, there doesn't seem to be any magical way of getting those nerves to work again. About half the time they do, and the other half, they don't. Hoping that you are one of the lucky ones. But it does keep you healthier otherwise to exercise.
Trying to remember what incomplete means.....there is still some bladder nerve function-therefore I am incomplete. (I never seem to finish anything!)
"An incomplete spinal cord lesion is the term used to describe damage to the spinal cord that is not absolute. The incomplete injury will vary enormously from person to person and will be entirely dependant on the way the spinal cord has been compromised." www.spinal-injury.net/incomplete-paralysis.htm
Hello Victory. I think there are many types of recovery and as everyone is pointing out huge variations in how much and how long improvement continues. This article on neuroplasticity (which never stops) is interesting and maybe one of the reasons why people with incomplete injuries can continue to gain function long after the "2 year window" which doctors sometimes use as the cut off point for recovery. www.spinalcordinjury-paralysis.org/forums/viewtopic/11775/54901 I guess complete injuries are different and have no experience of these. Peter is a bit of an oddbod in that his injury stems from an op (laminectomy C4-C7) that didn't go to plan and left him with little mobility. He has weakness in all 4 limbs and spasticity in his lower limbs. His hands are affected too. He is now over 5 years post and is still improving and gaining function. He can now do a (very simple) routine at the gym - 7 mins on treadmill, 5 mins on cross trainer and some upper body weights which even 6 months ago seemed impossible. Not huge but he is increasing his times every couple of weeks. He is doing stamina walks at home every day and is improving his time and distance slowly but positively. We think his improvement is mainly down to finding ways to control his spasticity and tightness which has impaired his movement. In the early days if he went even a little over what his muscles could manage he would tighten up like an elastic band and have to be "detangled" by the physiotherapist. He still gets very tight in his legs if he pushed too much but not the dramatic reaction of the early days. So he just keeps chipping away at it - 2 steps forward and one back mainly. He uses meds to control tightness and nerve pain and we keep lowering these as he finds more ways to get his muscles working. He has used tools like the alterG antigravity walking machine which although used by athletes recovering from injury is also great for impaired mobility. Hydro is also very helpful. He has weekly physiotherapy from a very dedicated and talented neuro physiotherapist and has been taught some Feldenkrais exercises which are teaching him new ways of movement (in the same way that a baby learns to walk). These are all very small movements so great for "bad" days. It is a way of life and not as demanding as I am making it sound - but it is working and way past the 2 years of recovery he was told he would have. We are not expecting him to recover all the movement he had pre op (partly as he is late 60s) but he is finding new ways to do things, chipping away at his muscle tightness and going forward. Who knows how much more function he can gain. So short answer to your question is - yes, gaining function after 5 years plus is possible if you have an incomplete injury. Good luck - hope you find your way to the recovery routine/programme that works for you.