Case 5: Mr. CM

We would like to graciously acknowledge Gary Linassi, MB FRCPC for his contribution to the development of this case study.

Mr. CM is a 22 year old Masters student at The University of Western Ontario who was the passenger involved in a motor vehicle collision after having left a party; the driver was impaired and drove the car head on into a utility pole. Mr. CM was wearing his seat belt at the time.

 Mr. CM sustained a C5 spinal cord injury with an AIS B and has intact pin prick sensation and patchy light touch sensation below his level of injury. He has no motor function below his level of injury, and has significant spasticity in his upper extremity, abdominals and lower extremity muscles.  

He is asking his rehab team about prognosis.

Mr. CM has some movement in his arms. The following are his MMT grades:

Level:              Right                Left
C5                      5                         4
C6                      2                         1
C7                      0                         0
C8                      0                         0
T1                      0                         0

Lower extremity – 0/5 throughout

Sensation: intact pin prick sensation below level of injury; patchy light touch below level of injury with more on the right than left. Mr. CM has intact deep pressure sensation at both ankles (see figure 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Mr. CM's presenting condition.

Figure 2. C5 AIS B, spinal injury. From Medicial Illustration 2010, Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.