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Anyone know anything about spinal injuries?

The Misfit

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Had a friend of a friend who wiped out on a bike race over the weekend -- a bicycle race. And yes, he was wearing a helmet. He fractured his C4 vertebrae, which I understand resulted in trauma to his spinal cord, and is currently paralyzed from his neck down. I guess he can't even breathe right now -- currently on a machine, and they are talking about doing a tracheotomy early this week.


I'm just hitting up anyone who may know anything about spinal injuries -- like, even a recommendation for care. They're currently looking at some place in Chicago for further treatment (she didn't remember the name of the place, since she's pretty distraught).


They had plans to get married next year. This sucks, but I don't really have anything to tell her, because I know nothing about spinal injuries, like if there is even a remote chance someone could regain some abilities from a fracture to the C4 vertebrae.

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Terribly sorry to hear this Misfit. :D


Truthfully, it doesn't get much worse than a C4 injury.....but there's a lot more information to be had here. There are a fairly wide range of possibilities depending on the severity of the damage to the spinal cord.


I believe the institution you are looking for in Chicago is The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. There is a lot of good info on that site for a start.


Thoughts and prayers are with your friend.....

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I'm very sorry to hear that.


The only thing I know about spinal injuries is that they are pretty tricky to diagnose in many cases. Plenty of people that were never supposed to walk again have. I wish your friend the best of luck.

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One of my childhood friends suffered a similar injury during a HS football practice(not sure which vertebrae it was exactly) and has been wheeelchair bound since. As someone said, spinal cord injuries are hard to nail down on prognosis. Some like my friend never regain sensation and mobility (thought that was 25 years ago) while others do get back some or all.


Best wishes for your friend. It a tough thing to go through and sadly not something that resolves quickly or easily.

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Nick Buonaconti's son was paralyzed playing college football at Carson-Newman I think. Buonaconti, all pro linebacker for the Dolphins, go really involved with some group in Miami that is searching for a cure. i think its called the Miami Project or something like that. let me go search for a while and I will see what I can come up with Misfit. I know this group is on the forefront of spinal cord research. Christopher Reeve went there for some treatment I believe.

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Here is the website for the Miami Project:




About The Miami Project


The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis is:


The world's largest comprehensive spinal cord injury (SCI) research center;

Dedicated to finding more effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for paralysis;

A Center of Excellence housed at the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

The Miami Project has assembled a broad spectrum of researchers, clinicians, and therapists whose expertise relate directly to the problem of SCI and whose full-time focus is SCI research.


By uniting this broad range of knowledge and talents, the Miami Project team of scientists is accelerating the search for effective treatments for SCI


The Miami Project was co-founded in 1985 by internationally recognized spinal cord injury (SCI) expert, Barth A. Green, M.D. and three families who had experienced SCI firsthand.


Business people Don Misner and Beth Roscoe were early supporters of Green's efforts. Joining them following the injury of his son, Marc, was NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti. The Buoniconti family vowed that progress in research would not be slowed because of a lack of funds. Their fundraising efforts brought an unprecedented level of public awareness of the need for SCI research.


The founders envisioned that to find a cure for paralysis, we needed to gather a committed group of scientists from various clinical and scientific disciplines in one center. Out of this vision, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis was born.


The Miami Project's first scientific director, Åke Seiger, M.D., fostered collaboration among researchers already working at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He also recruited several young scientists to add to the fledgling Miami Project team.


Richard P. sexye, M.D., a basic scientist known internationally for his pioneering studies of nerve growth and myelination, led The Miami Project from 1988 until 1996. During this period, The Miami Project research team doubled in size and established its scientific reputation.


From 1997 to today, W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D. has led The Miami Project team with the goal of accelerating the translation of new laboratory findings to clinical studies involving humans.


Since its inception, a goal of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has been to increase the number of laboratories undertaking SCI research by recruiting the premier scientists to the field, and by training students who will establish new research laboratories throughout the world. Today, The Miami Project serves as a model for other institutions that are developing centers for SCI research

Edited by spain
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I spoke to my wife, who is an occupational therapist. While she said that sometimes there is some recovery, it depends on how bad the break is and how much damage was done to the spinal cord. At its worst, he'll be confined to a sip and puff wheelchair.


I'm really sorry.

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Unfortunately, I know way too much about spinal cord injuries. But this is way over my head.


Only thing that comes to mind immediately is the iBOT power wheelchair, by far the most advanced chair on the planet. It's built by Independence Technology, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Anazing piece of work.




Still, try to help your buddy keep as much hope as he can manage. There have been cures before, and will again. The new research on stem cell transplants shows tremendous hope, if we can politicians and religious zealots out of it. Best wishes for your friend, Misfit.

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