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Incomplete SCI symptoms and recovery

Started by sassybgina on 10/05/2010 7:52pm

I hyperextended my neck in a cycling crash 6 weeks ago. Suffered temporary loss of all feeling from the neck down, although by the time they loaded me into the ambulance I was regaining sensation and movement in my feet. Degenerative disc disease discovered through MRI, bone spurs, caused a contusion to my spinal cord. Had fusion surgery 3 weeks ago to repair degenerative disc disease and relieve pressure on my spinal column. Areas affected were C4-C7. I'm up, walking, working and starting to do some VERY light strength training and spending time on the stationary bike. Believe me, I do indeed know how very lucky I am.
I am numb from the chest down to varying degrees throughout. My skin is interpreting touch in many different ways (through clothing feels normal, skin to skin is painful, inanimate object to skin very painful). Water from the shower on my torso and back is painful, but even that changes daily. My left arm has lost a lot of strength and is numb in the forearm from thumb to elbow, and outside of upper arm.
My question to anyone out there: Have you experienced anything similar to these symptoms, and if so, how long, if ever, did it take for them to clear up?
I'd really appreciate anything you can tell me :)

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5 Responses


hi sassybgina
i had fusion in lower neck and upper thoracic. i got a lot of the skin sensations and they all went away. i think it took about 4 months. i too went through therapy for some arm trembling, that also completely went away. and yes you were lucky. keep up the good work.....pete


just want to share my experiences. I had an nasty diving accident 3 years ago. I dove in a shallow lake. Broke C1 and C2. The C2 punched the spinal cord and I was temporary a quadriplegic, however I also gained sensation and movements back after some 10min.
Long story short: I took me 3 months physiotherapy and at least two years to gain back my full strength. My left arm is still much weaker than the right one and I'm having numbness feelings all over my body until now. I'm experienced or still experiencing many symptoms as you discribed in your post.
As far as I can tell: I have to live with that. But I'm so happy to be alive and not be drowned or ended up in a wheelchair that day.

Now I'm training for an full Ironman which will take place next March.

I wish you all the best.


I had a nasty fall 6 months ago and had ACDF at C 4/5 and ICSI or Central Cord syndrome. Stayed in a neck brace for 12 weeks, Continue to have tingling in arms and hands especially as well as feet and legs at times, Having much of the same symptoms with strange sensations with hot/cold, water, etc. that you described however slowly improving. Am on gabapentin and lyrica to help control, not very helpful.

Agree, I am lucky as are you and it is a long, slow road to recovery, Keep up the good work. It is a relief that someone else has similar experiences.


Thank you all SO MUCH for your responses. It's always such a relief to find out that you're not the only one. I wasn't able to find any information regarding anything that I was feeling so your feedback means a lot to me.
And yes, I'm realizing that this is going to take quite a bit of time and am trying not to get frustrated. Some mornings I wake up and everything seems normal until I start moving around and then it all comes back. I don't get excited with the false hope anymore :)
Best of luck to all of you in your journeys as well. I hope you all keep improving and are able to get out into the world and do the things you love most!


I am not sure but look up "stinger".

If you had a contusion of your spinal cord obviously that is what is causing your nerve sensations. Has your Doc ordered another MRI after surgery? I had surgery 1 yr ago, 10 yrs ago, and 20 yrs ago involving C 3-4 4-5 (most recent) C 5-6 and 6-7.

The last surgery was from symptoms I began having called myelopathy due to an impinged spinal cord showing an abnormal signal. An MRI showed bulging disks and many bone spurs which was causing the impingement to the cord. Started having balance issues, hip, knee and foot pain, along with horrific pain in my upper back. 6 weeks following the last surg. I told my doc I hurt worse after surgery. He ordered an MRI which showed the area that was an abnormal signal of the spinal cord to now be myelomalacia whic is a softening of the cord. Look up myelomalacia. I'm not a Dr. but it sounds like your spinal cord may have issues. Don't put it off calling your Dr. trust me.

I wish you the best and would like to hear what you find out.