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  1. #1
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Default Broken C7 and recovery

    Anybody ever had this injury and managed to come back from it well enough to backpack again?

  2. #2

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    Spine? Sounds pretty dire; I've heard of huge recoveries with people on a couple forums with back injuries that were severe, with years of pain and pain meds. then they found their way out of the tunnel through a combination of the best docs. and natural remedies.


  3. #3
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Wearing neck brace now and have to for 5 more weeks before they even take another look at me.

  4. #4

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    Yikes! I wish you the best. Are you able to walk at the moment?
    (trailname: Paul-from-Scotland)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Different Socks View Post
    Anybody ever had this injury and managed to come back from it well enough to backpack again?
    Hey DS don't despair. Believe that you can do it.

    I broke 4 vertebrae, some ribs and smashed my heart in a really bad accident. I have titanium rods, a bunch of screws and 10 bone graphs holding my back together and two non-fixed flattened disks in my lower back. I have gone from not being able to walk more than a couple of steps to hiking about 1500-2000 miles a year. I leave for the AZT later today and another 800 miles.

    You can do it. Not saying that it may not be hard and a lot of pain involved. But each situation is different as always and you just have to be determined and try hard. See what happens.

    I have changed to a Aarn pack, for hiking when big food and water carries are required, which keeps all weight on the hips and none on the shoulders. When traveling very light I can carry a regular pack. Work your way up with carrying just water for day hikes and take your time. I bet you can do it. For backpacking and sleeping on the ground experiment with different combinations of pads and pillows to see what works for your issue. I would practice that at home on the floor.

    It took me a few years to get back to a pretty good level of capability but just try and make a small constant amount of improvement each day and in time you will make lots of progress.

    Best of luck.

  6. #6

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    I broke (compression fracture) of my T5 and T6 and hairline fracture of my T7.
    I was back on my mountain bike less than 6 months.
    Took a nasty spill and reinjured it and was off the bike for another 3 months.

    Even after 25 years it gets a little sore from excessive use but mainly because I did not rehab the supporting muscles as well as I should have.

    I have no true lingering effects.

    Good luck with a speedy recovery.

  7. #7
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Yes, I am walking, even working but only 4 hours at a time b/c IO don't want to rush recovery and healing. Also got bruised ribs, broke 2 bones on my toe and rebroke ankle on same foot though I never knew I'd broken it the first time. Tryin really hard to be patient. If this was winter it would be easier, but lots of nice days still left til then and I am already feeling like I am missing too much.

  8. #8
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    20 years ago ... Crush fracture of L2-4 from a short track speed skating crash. I was backpacking 4 months later - after a lot of time in the gym building up the muscles after the fractures healed. It ain't easy, and you will probably have to do some continuous form of physical therapy / gym work (for me it's an hour of intense core work in the gym every week). Luckily, backpacking & hiking is probably one of the best things for my back! Don't give up hope, and start researching what you have to do to get better (and stay better). Best of luck!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Different Socks View Post
    Yes, I am walking.... but lots of nice days still left til then and I am already feeling like I am missing too much.
    That's excellent (that you can walk, I mean). It indicates that you haven't damaged the spinal cord itself.

    I think you have to punt on the rest of the hiking season, and play the long game. You want to be good and healed for next year....
    (trailname: Paul-from-Scotland)

  10. #10
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    If you don't have paralysis or radial nerve compression, then a C7 fracture isn't much different from any other broken bone. It might take months to heal, but with reasonable luck will come back to full function. But treat it gently for the first few months (I know, there goes the hiking season), because reinjuring a cervical vertebra could be Very Very Bad. Mostly, do what your orthopedist and neurologist say, as constraining as it is. (You might want to ask for a sports medicine, or Physical Medicine & Rehap (physiatrist) consult, because sometimes they know better than the surgeons how to heal an athlete.)

    It sucks, being benched with an injury. (I know, I lost six weeks this summer with a sprained knee.) Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery!
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  11. #11
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Thanks Kevin!!

  12. #12
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    Can't help you out on your question but really hope you get back on the trail soon.

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