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L1 burst fracture

Was wondering if any one on here has had the same injury.
A cage was put in and screws and plates put in with the bone.
This happened Sept 15 2012. Was hoping to return to work in April
but the DR. is a no go on that.
Any information would be great.


  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 01/17/2013 - 8:43 PM
    Michael1: hi and welcome.

    Can you be more specific, as I sure didn't understand what has happened to you from the above.

    Looking forward to getting a fuller picture of your history and concerns.
  • Sept.15 2012,fell off a ladder and had a burst fracture on L1.
    They had to put in a cage in its place and put a plate in to the vertebra above and below.
    They also used the broken bone to help fuse it. At the time of accident I lost everything below the waist. After surgery things came back. Spent 1 week in the hospital and 2 in rehab. Been doing PT ever since .
    Was hoping to return to work at the end of March, however the Dr. wanted to wait longer.
    Was wondering if anyone has had this happen to them . Have many questions. Does the stiffness ever go away, amount
    of pain, going back to work ?
  • On December 16, 2012 my wife and I were in a tree stand hunting. The tree stand collapsed and we fell 17'. My wife broke her C1, C2 and C6. I broke my L1. We both had surgery and both have rods and screws. I'm not 100% sure but I think I have the same cage and rods you are talking about Michael1. I know I have rods and screws just not positive about the cage. I hope to go back to work (light duty) at the end of February, it will much longer before I can go full duty. I'm a cop. We are both doing very well, up and walking. My biggest complaint is tightness in the back and a sharp tingling, burning pain that runs down the back of my left leg all the way to my foot.
  • Otto thanks for replying. I do not think I have a rod. As I understand it he replaced L1 with a cage and has a plate attaching
    T12 to L1 to L2. I still have some balance issues not bad tho. In my job it will be bending a lot and picking up 40-50 lb boxes
    occasionally. Toes still will not move like I want them to and I do walk a lot .
    I will have to say you and your wife were very blessed. I was actually putting up a deer stand my self, and I only fell around 6'. Just landed wrong I suppose. DR. said I am healing fine but I work out doors and he is afraid I will pull a screw out.
  • Michael: hi.

    I still have tightness and the pain, tingling down the leg at 6 mths post fusion. The fitter one is, the faster the recovery. So you may be quicker. Bending also is still not fully recovered.

    Its a major operation and has quite a long recovery.

    If you overdo things and a screw loosens, then it's back to the operating theatre. So be careful and follow the doctors instructions.

    If your toes are not working properly, then I'd suggest a referral to a physiatrist (this is a special doctor - see glossary in FAQ) to assess this functional loss of control of your toes and get specific exercises to target their recovery. I went through a series of exercises to address my foot drop, which also involved toes that wouldn't work properly.

    Take care.
  • The Dr. was going to refer me to a physiatrist put later decided not to. As for waiting I can do that because I most certainly
    do no want to be opened back up. The PT people where I go are great. When my visits are all used up hoping Insurance will
    pay for a Workers reconditioning program . That will give me a more time on the machines and some more PT.
    I still have some balance problems due to my right ankle wanting to roll so I still work on that.
    I want to thank you for replying to my posts. I just have been very frustrated.
    Thank You.
  • Michael: yes it's frustrating. And can take quite awhile to recover. But every few weeks, stop and recap where you were and the progress that's been made. Keeps things in perspective, the long term perspective.

    Make sure to tell us how your progressing.

    Take care.
  • Michael1 I think deer hunting has become dangerous! What about a back brace? I have 2 different ones I switch back and forth. I prefer the "turtle shell", I feel it gives me more support. Do you wear one? The more I read about these burst fractures the luckier I feel. I'm just trying to figure out if I will have full mobility of my back. And I'm hoping this injury will not hinder my job capabilites. I stand and walk fine. My back feels like it's constantly stiff. Not a lot of pain, but enough to know its back there. It's only been 36 days since the surgery, when should I start to really see improvement? Also, does anybody know how long it takes for the small pieces of bone to start the fusion process. Thanks in advance
  • Have had trouble logging in and sent you a pm. And yes I will be doing future deer hunting from a blind. The only braced I had was a TSLO ( turtle ) brace. I wore one for two and a half months. As for the mobility I wonder the same thing. I am stiff every time I get out of a chair. But my stiffness is more in my hips. My accident happened on Sept. 15 2012. and the DR. was going to try for an April release date but it may be a year from date of surgery. Do you or any one have trouble with the muscles in your legs. I have been on 3 different muscle relaxers at the same time and it still does not stop relax them. Thanks
  • Hello everyone, first of all I wish you all a complete recovery. I also had a L1 burst fracture after a paragliding accident - another dangerous sport Otto ;-) It's been 1.5 year since my operation. I stayed at the hospital for 3 weeks and got NO physiotherapy what so ever. I got 2 rods and 8 screws all made of titanium. I can walk but I get pain if I do sports, walk more than 15 - 20 minutes etc. Running is a long lost dream which I liked a lot. But I know that I must be thankful that I can walk again. Almost every morning I get up crummy, feeling as if somebody beat me up with wooden sticks. After trying to do some sports with a personal trainer, I began to feel a growing pain. So I had to stop. For about 2 months I had pain in my back and loss of feeling on my right leg. Now I wear a special corset as a part of my new treatment. I've been told that doing exercise (apart from walking and swimming) is dangerous since my L1 is too weak to handle the pressure and the rods and screws do not like such strenuous activities or any turns, band overs etc. Any comment on that? Is there anyone who can exercise, run or do yoga etc. ?
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