Sunday night my brother was swimming with his friends and jumped off the neighborhood bridge into the Creek. He landed on rocks and ended up with a compression fracture of the lower back, and a fractured iliac wing (pelvis).
He has been seen by a neurosurgeon, orthopedic doctor, and trauma team. The neurosurgeon advised he has no nerve damage (Thank god) and he is not paralyzed. The Orthopedic team advised it wasn't a fractured disk (ex: T2, L7) it was the actual back bone.
The Orthopedic doctor advised he is not allowed to stand up/walk without a brace, which he has been fitted for. The doctor also advised he could be disabled for up to a year, may need physical therapy and will be on bed rest for some time. Worst off he canít tell us how long recovery will really take.
Has anyone out there been through this, or know someone who has? If so, how long did it take to recover? My brother is only 21 and has a long life ahead of him. My mother is praying this isnít something he will struggle with for the rest of his life. Any advice would be appreciated.
What a lucky boy your brother is! No nerve damage, ha? This is a great news; oh, those boys, never a dull moment with them, is in it?
Your brother is still young and i want to believe his age on his side in healing. Bones hurt for a long while, give it a chanse to heal and make sure ortho/neuro Doctors follow his condition up.
Good luck to you all!
We all heal at different rates and the hard part is going to be keeping him tied down while he heals. He needs to understand that this can affect him for the remainder of his life and he needs to try to do everything the doctors say so to lessen that life altering changes. I suspect after the injury and he may have some arthritic changes in his back but really this is a question to ask his doctors.
Good luck and he is very lucky to have such a caring family supporting him.
When your Mom gets done smacking him up the side of the head...... My back broke the day after I had a three level fusion I told them something was wrong....no, every one feels that way....WRONG.My back had broken. My surgeon was out of town and the staff refused to listen to me when I told them something was wrong. So, they continued to get me up to walk for a week, twice a day with a broken back. My surgeon took me back into surgery, put two 15" titanium rods and 20 screws in. I am now fused from my shoulder blades down to my sacrum. So I don't really bend. Kinda like those birds that dip into the glasses of water, ya know? I wore a brace for 6 months every time I was out of bed. I have been i water therapy for two months, and am now in PT, and also have accupuncture.
The damage that was caused when my back broke was that I lost use of my quad muscle of my left leg and it required me to almost relearn how to walk. I had great back use of my leg, but the forward motion was nil. Stairs were a real issue. I am now two years into a 4 year therapy program and my surgeon hopes that I will regain full use of my leg. I suffer nerve pain and have some wonderful pain that is the result of the break, but I can walk unaided. I use a cane when I am out in areas that I am unfamiliar with. I have a walker that i use occcasionally. I can walk without anything, but still feel more comfortable having something to hold onto. But then I am (ahem) a good bit older than your brother, well maybe not a good bit....
It will take a good bit of determination on your brother's part to overcome this, but it can be done. He will need to decide if he is going to let it over take his life or if he is going to take over.
Good luck to you and to him. I think god has plans for him...he is one lucky young man..
Thank you all so much for the kind words, advice and encouragement!
Good news was he was discharged from the Hospital today. He was able to walk around on his own (with the back cast of course). He's said sitting is super painful but standing or laying flat isn't as bad. I won't lie, he's an impatient 21 year old, but he does have determination too not let this overcome.
Our aunt has spondylolisthesis and has had 3 surgeries which still have left her in a lot of pain. His concern is he doesn't have to go through the same struggle she has.
I'm 22 and I broke my back (sacrum) and pelvis 8 months ago. The fact that your brother is walking already is amazing. I am still in pain when sitting but it is bearable and NOTHING at all like it was months ago. My pain when I sit is mainly in my upper back because those muscles compensate for the ones around the pelvis which obviously can't really work too well when broken so now a lot of my rehab is getting the right muscles to do their proper jobs and slight postural changes. I have been extremely consistent with my rehabilitation but my recovery has been two steps forward one step backwards because once the bones have healed you are left to deal with muscle disfunction which is not so much excruciating pain in certain positions but more of a dull, lingering pain. I guess what I can say is that your brother is in it for the long haul but as long as he is patient and sticks with good physiotherapists then he WILL HEAL COMPLETELY. I'm back studying at university and am in rehabilitation 3-4x weekly but I've just made it part of my routine. It worked well for me to take a few months of initial recovery and then just get back into life so my accident didn't rule my life. I hope this helps and hope your brother heals sooner rather than later.