My brother-in-law had a hemorrhagic bleed(or stroke) of the spinal cord. He got back some movement, enough to walk some but it is similar to having a stroke of the brain....the pressure kills the nerve cells or the lack of blood from where ever the bleed was, deprives nerves their needed blood supply.
You won't know for a while.
This is rare, thank goodness but I'm sorry your aunt had it happen. As with any kind of stroke, you just have to wait it out and see that she gets the best rehab possible. It can take a couple of years to know what is permanently gone and what isn't.
exactly how long ago was this event? where is she at right now? what have they told the family the actual reason/source of the bleed was?
i just wanted to mention to you here that there are certain types of vascular malformations such as "arteriovenous malformations" that can form within the spinal cord or brain(much rarer in the cord tho, but still happen to ALOT of people out there) that people are simply born with but just don't know they have? i had a venous form called a cavernous hemangioma, but my MRI stated it WAS an AVM,so i reserched the living heck out of this for the two months it took to even get this better defined by angiogram. but these little suckers can stay there unknown for someones entire life, or they CAN rupture and create some rather devistating effects. just an FYI for you. if they do not know the 'whys' in how this even started, they really DO, for the familys sake need to try and find out the true source of the bleed esp since this was an actual arterial type bleed? i am only guessing here it was arterial since most venous fed bleeds are NOT that hugely catastrophic? but there also can be possible anuerysms in there too or would come in from one area where the vertebral arteries simply had a space to actually push into that spinal canal at all? and fistulas too which are kind of a combo of both veins and arteries which just should never ever have any direct connections to one another ever, anywhere.
but they just DO need to fully define what was the underlying factor here in this particular type of very rare bleed into anyones spinal cord. you WANT anwers here.
what is eventually going to take place within that cord is the basic blood components will and can be absorbed into the body,BUT the one thing that will not is the iron for some insane reason. when i had my venous bleed into my cord, it absorbed all blood products except what was called "hemosiderin staining"? since i had no real clue just what THAT actually was, i never knew til about two years after that inital MRI picked it up in my c spine cord, that i had already at least once, actually had a bleed of some level, only becasue that hemosiderin was left behind at all in there? two stupid neurosurgeons did not deem it important enough to actually inform ME of that occurance and boy was i ****** when i found THAT out when i got to an NS who just knew what the heck these things were all about.
just what EXACT level did that bleed happen at, the 'starting point"? that would at least keep the areas above that 'level' safe from the draw or pull down of blood products that can still unfortunetly continue here? its gravity pretty much unless they actually try and keep her as flat as possible at least til this 'stabilizes itself? but as jenny stated above here, what anyone really 'ends up with' when spinal cord tissue is involved really IS up to anything that was overlycompressed by the blood or that bloods extra impact on the CSF already in that dura that surrounds the cord itslef(do you know if this indeed WAS a direct bleed INSIDE the cord itself or in that surrounding dura? it DOES matter alot)? and of course time and a really good rehab facility like i went to and regained sooo much more than i ever thought i could at the beginning?
but compression tissue death CAN be seen in like the first one to two months ONLY. then it kicks in a 'process" called myelomalacia which basically is our bodies way of ridding dead tissue? within my cord after my cord surgery just created some dead/scar tissue, that myelo was very much there granualizing/softening the unneeded tissue at my two month follow up MRI and by my one year MRI? all that crap had stopped and all signs of that tissue were completely gone. teeny little things called 'macrophages" are what swoop in and kind of 'eat up' all that deadened tissue so i guess it does not actually scar in there? very insane let me tell ya. but that did NOT mean my damage was gone, it just took out alot of the crap within the cord that did not need to be there?
but given alot of time and good solid PT(headed by a good knowledgable and experienced physiatrist who just KNOWS the msot about muscle and nerve and how everything should just 'work' togehter) geared specifically to her particular losses is the absolute best thing she could be doing once her body and cord get over the initial truama and shock of what simply did occur in there. and that can take awhile also depending alot on just what created her actual bleed and how they mitigated it. but my rehab was started about two and a half weeks post op, and this was from a surgery that stuck a scalpel one third of the way into the back of my spinal cord to actually 'dig out' my 4x6x8 mm sized cavernous hemangioma. i lost my L leg and a ton of fine motor muscles in my L hand too. i got back alot tho but still suffered some most significant losses to my fine motor? hence the really great typing, lol.
just what is she showing right now as any real losses or deficits and what level did that bleed start at? has ANYTHING at all actually improved from the date this occured to now? even small improvements mean a ton when it comes to cord or brain injury, trust me there. any improvments whenthe cord is involved, generally mean that a total connewction was not all lost and you do have reason to hope that with the proper therepy and therepists, she will regain a bit more. there just IS alot of unknowns here thatw will kind of show themselves or play ourt over time and rehab too.
i really am so sorry that she suffered something like this. hopefully the real underlying damage that still wont be known for a bit yet, wont be too overly impactful and mostly recoverable too. but please DO keep us posted markie, marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.