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L5 injury & healing process

okombaookomba Posts: 4

Hi everyone,

I had gunshot in Dec. 2009. After the gunshot:
1. I could not move my right leg. Thereafter, I found out that I had sensation on my right thigh but there was no sensation on right leg and feet.
2. I am not able to control urine - have to use a catheter
3. Not able to control stool.
4. I can move my left leg but have difficulties doing so.

I was at the hospital for two weeks during which I was asked to do an MRI. The MRI showed injury to the L5.

For nerve recovery I was put on Neurobine Forte. My understanding is that this medicine is supposed to reduce nerve pain and assist in the healing.

During the first two moths there were lots of activities on my right leg, most of which are difficult to describe (spasms and convulsions. sometimes feeling like cold water being injected through right leg). I also felt some mild pains.

I contacted two different neurosurgeons both which recommended physiotherapy as a way to recover. So, I started on PT.

So far physiotherapy has strengthened my body in general but my right leg is still paralyzed. As a way of making me a bit more independent I was put on walking frame after the first physiotherapy session. This has helped a great deal.

After two months the nature of activity and pains on my right leg changed. The activities were slowing down in intensity & frequency while the pains became a bit more severe.

Now I am having intermittent severe pains on my right leg. Some days the pains are very severe, other days they're mild and some days I go without any pains. The activities have continued to change as well.

The pains don't respond to pain killers.

My questions:
1. Without an option for surgery, how long will it take for the damaged nerve to recover?
2. Is Neurobine Forte the best medicine for nerve recovery?
3. Is there something else I need to do to expedite the recovery?
4. How can I deal with severe pains?

Thanks in advance.



  • Welcome to Spine Health. When you say that you contacted 2 neurosurgeons, were you evaluated by them in person? Was there damage done to your spinal cord? Have you considered seeing another neurosurgeon or at least a neurologist?

    Neurobion Forte is nothing more than a combination of vitamins B1, B6 and B12. I've never heard of it referred to as a medicine for nerve recovery before. Are you on any pain medications at all? Are you being treated by someone other than the PT?

    Sorry for so many questions. I hope that this forum can provide you some better insight into recovery from injury. There are a lot of good folks here who have been through many experiences who can share with you what it took for them to recover.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The neurosurgeons evaluated me in person based on the MRI scan. But that was back in January. I haven't had a follow-up since then.

    The MRI scan showed no damage to the spinal cord, but rather L5 injury.

    If neurologist is better option I will make an appointment with one. I don't have enough knowledge in this area, so I don't know difference between neurosurgeon and neurologist!

    Other than PT I am not on any other treatment.

    I have prescription for pain medication but the medication appears ineffective in managing severe pains. Since this is my first experience (I haven't known a person with similar condition) I concluded that pain from nerve damage are not treatable. The positive side is that severe pains are not frequent (I get them once a week or once in two weeks) and normally disappear after I sleep. So, I use sleep as medication for severe pains.

    Just a correction, I normally experience pain in the right foot and not leg. Though numb, the leg doesn't experience much pain.


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  • Hey there...tough for us non medical folks to help too much.

    Unfortunatley no one can tell you how long it will take for the nerve to recover or if the nerve will recover. The nervous system is s strange thing and while there are studies that may indicate permanent nerve damage takes place if the nerve is compressed for 10 months or more...no one knows for sure. It could be less or more.

    As for nerve pain meds, it is really individual. Many times doctors may or may not want to prescribe narcotic drugs depending on your situation. If damage was done to L5, did they say what kind of damage? Is it that the disc is damaged or that the vertabrae is damaged?

    Sounds like you have some unanswered questions and a visit to a neurosurgeon may be helpful.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Just in case it will help here's the MRI Report:

    Post exlap secondary to gunshot wound with right sided weakness of the lower extremities

    T1 weighted, T2 weighted and fat suppression - with post iv contrast T1 weighted sequences of the lumbar spine were performed in sagittal and axial planes.

    There is loss of normal lumbar lordosis due to muscular spasms.
    Altered signal intensity is seen at L5 vertebral body that is hyperintense on T2W sequense and heterogeneously hyperintense on T1W sequence and heterogeneous enhancement on post contrast sequence.

    There is no fracture or sublaxation.

    There is also involvement with enhancement of the right ilio psoas muscles and left erector spinae muscles at L5 level.
    There is a heterogeneous lesion filling the thecal sac with flow voids within it.
    The lesion has both isoidense and hyperintense areas on both T1W and T2W sequences.
    Post contrast scans shows heterogeneous enhancement of the thecal mass lesion.
    There is also leptomeningeal enhancement.
    There is no intramedullar lesion in the lower cord and the conus medullaris appears normal.

    Hemorrage in the thecal sac with injury to L5 vertebral body and adjacent muscles.


    I have quoted the report verbatim. I don't understand most of it, but somebody with medical knowledge will be able to interpret.



  • I would find a good neurologist who can interpret those results for you. We are not doctors, only fellow sufferers.

    I had a back injury 2 1/2 years ago, and if I knew then what I know now, I would have been much more proactive in my own medical care and not just accepting that doctors were helping but ask them to explain to me HOW they were helping.

    that's the only advice I have, sorry!
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  • Hi Mugoma-
    I am not a Dr...but, I am curious as to why if you are having nerve pain you were not put on Neurontin or Lyrica? I know that I don't have any knowledge except my own experience but that was the very first drug (neurontin) that I was put on when I first started having nerve pain...
    Praying for you! :)
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