Circulation in Legs and Feet Following poly trauma to spine and pelvis

Posted by jsdale @jsdale, Jun 7 6:10am

My husband 58 sustained polytrauma due to being run over by a land rover. 1 year on he is confined to a wheelchair and can only bear standing weight with use of hoist. Are the leg and foot massagers on the market worth the money for improving circulation and pain from neuropathy? He has cold feet and they swell and turn purple often during the day. There is blood supply but serious injury to all nerves running through pelvis and into feet.

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@jsdale I wanted to welcome you to Connect. I am so sorry that you husband suffered such a trauma, and I'm sure that it completely changed your life, and you as a caregiver are also bearing the impact of this accident. That must be so overwhelming at times, but you are always welcome here on Connect and will find a compassionate ear. There is a caregivers discussion group too that is private if that would be of interest to you. I took care of my elderly dad at his end stage from heart disease that involved using a lift, so I know there is a lot involved in your daily living, and none of it is easy.

What may help would be the hospital medical leg massagers that help patients after surgeries so they don't form blood clots in their legs by maintaining circulation through movement. They are commonly used after knee replacement surgery. I don't think any of the mass marketed devices would be much use to you and I don't think they can improve anything. Massage and moving the lower legs around may help (if he is able or if you are assisting with movement). Do you have any services coming in like home health or occupational/physical therapy? They would be a good source to ask questions about what could help in your situation.

He is at risk of blood clots in the legs because of being sedentary. My mom is in a wheelchair and has had reoccurring clots, and is on Eloquis because of this. Can he sit and circle his feet around or raise his toes or heels while seated? You can also do that with your hands to move the legs and feet. I broke my ankle badly 2 years ago and for most of this time, my foot would turn purple after I did anything and had swelling, so that may have been a partial cause of it.

One thing you might want to inquire about would be physical therapy in a pool where the water and flotation devices can hold him up so he can try to walk. I used to be involved with a pool program at a YMCA for disabled adults and patients with MS were getting a lot of benefit from this. The hardest part was getting through the locker rooms and changing wet clothes on a disabled person, and you may need a hired assistant for that. The pools have lifts to get a person in and out of the water. There are also physical therapy places with pools for water therapy. Actor Chistopher Reeve who suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury made a lot of progress with pool therapy, and actually got to where he could walk a little bit in a pool and if you remember he started out on a ventilator unable to breathe on his own and strapped into a power chair.

What kind of therapy has he tried?

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Hello @jsdale. I'd like to add my welcome along with @jenniferhunter who has already joined you and shared some information with you.

I believe this is the type of product you may be looking for. I have a couple of friends who use similar devices at home as athletes and thought this could possibly be of help to you. From what I can see, there is a wide range of price options but these seem on the more reasonable end.
https://www.amazon.com/FIT-KING-Leg-Air-Circulation/dp/B07P3JJ2YK
Have you seen these before?

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