For decades, despite significant advances in medical science, the prognosis for those with complete spinal cord injuries has remained the same. Although people with incomplete injuries sometimes recover sensation and function with the right medical care, people with complete injuries will have permanent medical consequences.
However, researchers recently published promising research that could change the prognosis for hundreds of thousands of people with complete spinal cord injuries. Specifically, in February of 2022, medical professionals published a report explaining how they helped three men with complete spinal cord injuries temporarily regain the ability to walk.
How can someone with a severed spinal cord start walking again?
The reason that complete spinal cord injuries have such a poor prognosis is that they involve the complete severing of the spinal cord. The complete separation of the spinal cord means that electrical impulses cannot pass from the brain to the body or vice versa. The treatment used for this research focused on patients with inches of healthy spinal cord tissue below the point of injury.
Researchers were able to implant electrical stimulation devices and pacemakers into adult men with complete spinal cord injuries. Using special software, these men could then send specific electrical impulses to the device and effectively walk. Although this incredible treatment is in its infancy, there is little question that it will have a massive impact on those with complete spinal cord injuries once it is accessible.
Knowing your treatment options after a catastrophic injury like a spinal cord injury can help you better handle the personal injury claim you file related to when you got hurt.