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T-12 and L-1 compression fracture (seeking advice)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm 19, and last month I fractured my T12 and L1 vertebrae whilst attempting a jump at a snowdome. I've been fitted with TLSO brace for 6-8 weeks and have been told after a few months of physio I should be "reasonably" back to normal. I'm having problems because my doctors are being vague about how long it'll take to recover, and whether I'll be able to ski this winter season or not. I also want to get back into running and swimming but again they say 3-6 months which isn't very useful. I wanted to know if anyone has any experience of this kind of injury and has any wisdom to offer on the recovery time?

 

Help would be massively appreciated! 

post #2 of 3

I can't answer your question directly but I can give some advice. A lot depends on the nature of the fracture, which only your doctor knows. You could post pictures of your xrays but I doubt any orthopedist would be willing to advise you on a spinal injury on the internet.

 

To get better answers from your doctors you need to ask two separate questions. First--when is it safe to ski, or to put it another way, when are you allowed to ski.  If your doctor still gives you a range, ask what the criteria will be to allow you to ski--xrays? symptoms?. The second question is when will you be able to ski, which will depend on pain level and strength recovery ,which will usually be longer than when you are allowed, and will depend on things like your pain tolerance, how bad you want to ski, what kind of PT you get and how diligent you are in rehab.Able to ski will be a lot more variable than allowed to ski. Be persistent--when your doc says you need a brace for 6-8 weeks, ask "Which is it--6-or 8" If he says "Depends", you ask "Depends on what?" 

 

I assume you saw an orthopedist or other kind of spine specialist. That's who should be answering your questions. When you say "your doctors" you need to pick the right one. Which will of course be the one that's the hardest to get hold of and the most impatient with questions. But there's no reason you should accept vague answers. Just be calmly persistent.

post #3 of 3

They wont tell you because they cannot predict how long it will take for your fracture to heal or how you will respond. 

 

My advice to you would be to be as compliant as you can possibly be and dont do anything stupid. You were lucky you didnt have to have surgery. You're 19, there is plenty of time to do the things you want after it heals, no sense in risking a lifetime's worth of aggravation for instant gratification.

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