hello! doctor i have a question: my 20 y.o brother jumped in the water few days ago and he broke his cervical spine. the doctors say its his c-5 vertebra and that he will never walk again because his spinal cord its compressed. what i would like to know is if exsist a surgery that can make him walk again or something that can help him? sorry if i made somne mistakes but english its not my natural language! thanks
By your description, your brother unfortunately developed a burst fracture of C5 that injured the spinal cord. I assume that the water was too shallow and he impacted his head against the bottom causing this fracture.
Cord injuries generally do not have a good prognosis unless there is still some sensation below the injury that is preserved (called sacral sparing). It is my practice to decompress the cord as soon as possible but even with surgery, there is no guarantee of any return of function.
There is research ongoing to try and restore some function to the cord but this research is still in its infancy.
PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.