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Old 01-27-2003, 08:53 PM   #1
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Arrow T11 compression fracture

Hello everyone! I discovered this message board and thought it would be good for me to talk to people who know what I'm going through. I am a skydiver, and recently came in a little too fast on landing and managed to get a compression fracture (T11). They simply put me in a brace, gave me some narcotics, and said "see you in 3 months, and don't lift anything"! I'm concerned about my recovery, since all I hear is bad things about back injuries. It seems that no one is ever the same after a back injury and usually ends up with continuing problems for the rest of their lives! This is very discouraging, since I'm only 21 now, lol. Is there any hope? Help!

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~Lene
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~Lene

 
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Old 01-27-2003, 09:58 PM   #2
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Hi Lene,

Welcome

You can always get another opinion while you are in the process of waiting out the 3 month period.
Many of us here, have had several opinions, especially since the back is such a delicate area, and a very important part of our bodies.

I wish I had some more advice, but I'm drawing a blank tonight.

Somebody will be along soon to answer you better

Good luck, and please keep us posted

Be Well,
Baxter [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/love2.gif[/img]




------------------
Two level laminectomy fusion L5-S1 & L2-3 done on 12/6/02.
Fifteen inch scar from the very top of butt crack (sorry), to the bra line.
BAK cages, rods & screws.(Titanium)
My pelvic bone was used for grafting.
Praying that the other two discs in between, won't have to be fused later, as I was told it was a possibility, due to the other two discs in between, not being in that great of shape.
Doc didn't want to fuse four levels, unless it is really necessary.
I would hate to repeat the surgery, as the recovery period, is so very painful.
I also have a free fragment in my T11-12 area, that I'm still refusing surgery for, at this point in time.
That surgery is way too dangerous for me to consider, until if affects my being able to walk.

 
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Old 01-28-2003, 09:40 AM   #3
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Hi Lene

As long as there is no nerve damage, and the bone is still attached to the main part of the spine, this seems to be the common treatment for compressed fracture. From your post I take it that you didn't have to spend anytime in hospital. This is a good sign as It sounds like you haven't done much structural damage to the bone. It takes about 3 months for the bone to start healing, and the brace just makes sure that the spine stays in place and heals properly.
My advice is just to take it easy, if you experience any numbness at all there is no harm in ringing the doctor to find out what you should do. As you are young your spine has a good chance of healing itself quickly.

Best of Luck
JJkursed.

 
Old 01-28-2003, 11:49 AM   #4
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Hi Lene

I am somewhat similar to you, I had a compression fracture of L1 (happened in a soccergame, donīt ask me to explain how :-)).
It was stable and it should heal well.
Donīt mean to scare you *promise* but I still have problems 8 months since accident.
But itīs rare that young people donīt recover from injury like this - everybody tells me that so you shouldnīt worry. Make sure you donīt start training too hard too soon, thatīs probably what I did..

For me, PT and wetwest-training har worked well, it makes a real difference. There are lots of things to try if problems persist. Iīm sure youīll be fine!

/Kris


 
Old 01-28-2003, 12:19 PM   #5
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Thank you to everyone that responded, the info is greatly appreciated. [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif[/img]) I guess the question I want to ask my doc when I see him next is what the percentage the compression is. That seems to be a critical fact in the severity of the injury. He mentioned the concern of the vertebrae collapsing, (which sounds scary!). I am on disability for these months that I'm in the brace, so I'm taking it easy and praying that that's all it will take. I think I'm going to be a bit paranoid about doing anything to agitate it once it's healed. I just hope I can still skydive after this is all over.

------------------
~Lene
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~Lene

 
Old 01-28-2003, 01:34 PM   #6
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Hi Ouchie-
Welcome to the boards but sorry for the reason that you are here! Well I rolled my 3 wheeler in July 2002 and had a anterior wedged compression fracture to T11 and T12. I was in ICU for 4 days and a rehab center for a week or so. How long were you in? They put me in a Jewett brace (what brace are you in?) and also said I would have to wear it 3 months. Well by my 3 months mark my spine had healed curved forward because my vertabra was wedged. I was measured at having a 55degree kyphosis (curve forward) So In Dec 2002 I had to have surgery because it was likely that I would keep curving forward and become a "hunchback". I had a two level fusion. They had to go through my side since it was anterior, remove a rib and remove T12. The put in a cage in place of the T12 filled with bone from my rib and I have a plate and screws. I am not saying this to scare you. I am just telling you my story. Most people with this injury DO heal fine from what I have read. But just do everything correctly. DONT lift anything and dont bend and twist because the Thorocolumbar (T11-L2 or so) is right where you bend and twist and that will affect how you heal. Make sure you have some test at the three month mark to make sure your spine hasn't curved. If you have any questions feel free to ask!! I hope I didnt scare you.
Best wishes!!
[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] Shiz

------------------
~`Shiz`~
GO BUCS!!!
Old name Shiz Quit working...?
19 yrs old
July 2002- Rolled 3 wheeler, T11 T12 anterior wedged compression fractures.
55 degree kyphosis (curve forward)
Dec 5 2002- Anterior Surgery. 2 level fusion.
Rib removed, T12 removed, both used for bone in Cage. Also have plate and screws. Been in jewett, TLSO, Soft TLSO braces since July.
__________________
Old name Shiz Quit working...?
19 yrs old
July 2002- Rolled 3 wheeler, T11 T12 anterior wedged compression fractures.
55 degree kyphosis (curve forward)
Dec 5 2002- 2 level Anterior fusion.
Rib removed, T12 removed, both used for bone in Cage. Also have plate and screws. Straightend up to about 20 degrees.
Dec. 11 2003- Find out I'm now curved to 30 degrees. Going for MRI

 
Old 01-28-2003, 03:50 PM   #7
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hi Lene and others,

well welcome i also had a compression fracture of t8 due to car accident in my case i was not looked after very well in hospital i had no brace to wear and let out of hospital after 7 days i had x rays i mth after accident but this was to see if my lung was ok as i had lung contusion i asked my gp to ask for more xrays of my back and my fracture had colapsed further THEN they put me in a brace for 3mths A BIT LATE damage had been done a year ago i had surgrey im fused 7-9 and have 8 screws and a cage and rods from t6 to t11 but im doing ok i was 24 when i had my accident

i say do as youre told take it easy yes find out what degree youre wedge is if you are heaps of pain say so
if youre not happy seek a second opinion its youre body surgrey is not to be taken lightly it is major surgrey but if they suggest it ask them why they think it important

one other thing you're vertabrae will never heal to full hieght again but it should stabalise hope you get wht i mean by that i really hope like the others that i have not scared you i can offer support though
Takecare Bounce [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/blob_fire.gif[/img]
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mva 22.11.99
compression fracture of T8 nearly all ribs on left side broken 1 healed with 1cm overlap and several transverse process broken
refered for surgrey feb 2000
march 2000 after having ct scan discovered i was prgnant NOT PLANNED
decemeber 2000 had beautiful baby boy who is my motivation
feb 2002 had surgrey a long gap form accident to op as i also breest fed my wee boy
feb 5th 2002 had my back op
posterior osteotomy and release,subsequent anterior trans thorasic approach with corpectomy of T8 and reconstruction using mesh cage with rib bone graft and a third stage of posterior correction of the deformity using pedicle screw instrumention and further bone grafting.
own bone used rib 7 on left side so have big gap
march 17 2003 got all clear from surgeon i have fused
-----------------
july 2003 ercp to remove gallstone from bile duct
august 2003 gallbladder removed

 
Old 01-29-2003, 01:15 PM   #8
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I got into the trauma ward around 2pm, they did a few x-rays, and said that hopefully the use of a brace would be all I need to heal the fracture, but they couldn't get one until the next day so I had to stay overnight until they could get me one. So I was only there till the following evening. I did get a Jewett brace like you Shiz The doc did show his concern about my spine curving forward into a hunch, so he set me up with a follow up appointment in a couple of weeks to check on it. I'm wondering, you said (Shiz) that AFTER the 3 month period it showed a curve, did they check during the 3 months and it was fine? I went in for the follow up, and I'm good so far. But I also was given 3 months in the brace, so there's lots of time still to wait.
I'm glad you mentioned about the twisting! The brace keeps me from bending forward much, but I can still twist fairly easily and I didn't realize this could be harmful. Thank you for pointing that out!
As far as lifting, I was given a 10lbs limit, but should I really be lifting anything at all? [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif[/img]
Thanks again for your responses, they did scare me a little, lol, but the information was worth a little scare. I'm tough! lol [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dance.gif[/img]
__________________
~Lene

 
Old 01-29-2003, 01:49 PM   #9
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Hi Lene-
Well with me its a hard situation. I used to live in Minnesota. I was up there visiting when my accident happened. After I was ok enough, I flew back home to FL. But then I was left without a doc. It took a month to get into a doc that didnt run any tests and said I was fine. I went for a second opinion, took another month to get in and he also couldnt help me and said I had to see a spine surgeon who specialized in instrumentation. So thats why it took so long for me to be properly diagnosed although I am sure the curve had already taken place. I think I was curved right away and it had just gotten worse so If you look good now then it shouldnt get worse. As for the Jewett. It does allow for the twisting and so you just need to try not to do it. Thats why the other braces are better but they hurt me since my insicion is on my side so I am still wearing my Jewett most of the time against docs orders but owell. About the lifting, I was put on a 5 lb limit. If you are comfortable lifting 10lbs then it should be ok. Dont lift more than that till your healed, or your doc says its ok. What kind of doc are you seeing? I truelly hope everything works out for you. Im sure it will. How long have you been skydiving? I have always wanted to....I wont be able to now! But I believe everything happens for a reason so I guess we just have to accept that. Well keep me posted!
[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] Shiz

------------------
~`Shiz`~

Old name Shiz Quit working...?
19 yrs old
July 2002- Rolled 3 wheeler, T11 T12 anterior wedged compression fractures.
55 degree kyphosis (curve forward)
Dec 5 2002- Anterior Surgery. 2 level fusion.
Rib removed, T12 removed, both used for bone in Cage. Also have plate and screws. Straightend up to about 20 degrees. Been in jewett, TLSO, Soft TLSO braces since July.
__________________
Old name Shiz Quit working...?
19 yrs old
July 2002- Rolled 3 wheeler, T11 T12 anterior wedged compression fractures.
55 degree kyphosis (curve forward)
Dec 5 2002- 2 level Anterior fusion.
Rib removed, T12 removed, both used for bone in Cage. Also have plate and screws. Straightend up to about 20 degrees.
Dec. 11 2003- Find out I'm now curved to 30 degrees. Going for MRI

 
Old 02-01-2003, 01:57 AM   #10
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About the percentage of compression.. Apperently a vertebrae can be more or less wedgeshaped from the beginning, by it self so to speak?

I just read my chartpapers and vertebrae was measured to be 36 mm in height at the back end, and only 18 mm at the front. But the compression was considered mild (not 50% as the measure indicates). It just seems to have been a skislope type of vertebrae already



 
Old 02-01-2003, 09:42 AM   #11
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Thank you KrisL, that's interesting.

Shiz, I'm seeing an Orthopedics doc at the county hospital's spinal clinic.
I've been skydiving for a few years now, but only have 42 jumps total (most skydivers make much more in that amount of time). I'm sorry you won't be able to try it, but I agree with you on things being for a reason. I don't know if I'm going back to it or not after this. Only time will tell. Whatever is meant to be will be and I'll have to accept it, like you said.

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~Lene
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~Lene

 
Old 02-01-2003, 10:33 PM   #12
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Hi Lene,

I am the resident Thorasic spine expert for the most part around here. People with Thorasic spine problems are far and few. The surgeons who handle our conditions are even scarcer. Only about 12 in the whole world are qualified to do the most up to date surgery methods. I have nothing againist orthopedic doctors but your case requires a Nuerosurgeon. Ortho pedic doctors specialize in arms and legs and do some spine procedures they feel up to. Unless he is one of the select few You do not want him to put a knife to you. Nuerosurgeons specialize in brain and spine surgery and protecting the spinal cord. I don't mean to be cruel or knocking the fine work orthopedic surgeons do but, they are carpenters who use bones instead of wood.

A thorasic fracture needs to be seen by a nuerosurgeon who specializes in the Thorasic spine. They are truely the only one's qualified even to read the MRI and X-ray and CatSCAn films. In my case they were overlooked by the Radiologists and remarked as slight bumps. In the Thorasic spine slight anything is major trouble.

So get is looked at by a qualified individual. You may have to shop around the major city to find one. I suggest when you call you tell the nurse you need to see a surgeon who specializes in the thorasic spine? Then if he is not one could the doctor give you a name? Tell them You will not hold it againist them you just really need to find the right surgeon and fast. Then is the name given to you is the doctor you need then you say you were refered by doctor's office of before. You will get a quicker appointment. So good luck and feelfree to ask any questions at anytime.

Oliver

 
Old 02-02-2003, 01:31 PM   #13
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Lene-
I just want to say that I had an orthopedic spine surgeon. I loved him and would reccomend him to anyone! I agree with Oliver that you cant let just anyone deal with Thoracic but I saw lots of docs and including neurosurgeons and liked my Ortho the best. Just my opinion.
__________________
Old name Shiz Quit working...?
19 yrs old
July 2002- Rolled 3 wheeler, T11 T12 anterior wedged compression fractures.
55 degree kyphosis (curve forward)
Dec 5 2002- 2 level Anterior fusion.
Rib removed, T12 removed, both used for bone in Cage. Also have plate and screws. Straightend up to about 20 degrees.
Dec. 11 2003- Find out I'm now curved to 30 degrees. Going for MRI

 
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