March 07, 2023, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
The human spinal cord is a critical part of the nervous system that plays a vital role in transmitting signals from the brain to the rest of the body. However, injuries to the spinal cord can result in permanent disability or even death. Fortunately, there has been significant progress in recent years toward rebuilding the human spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can occur as a result of trauma to the spinal cord itself or to the surrounding vertebrae, ligaments, or discs. The leading causes of spinal cord injury include motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, workplace injuries, bicycle acceidents, swimming and diving accidents, and acts of violence. Depending on the severity of the injury, the costs of treatment can be significant on the individual and societal levels.
Care of the Injury
Acute care for spinal cord injuries can involve hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation, which can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Long-term care may also be necessary for individuals who have suffered permanent disability, such as assistance with activities of daily living, ongoing physical therapy, and specialized medical equipment and assistive devices. Home and workplace accessibility modifications are costly.
In addition to the financial costs, spinal cord injuries can also have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life and ability to work and participate in their community. As such, finding effective treatments for spinal cord injuries is essential to improving the health and well-being of those affected by these injuries.
Areas of SCI Treatment Research
One area of research that shows promise is the use of stem cells. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the potential to become any type of cell in the body. Researchers have been exploring the use of stem cells to regenerate damaged spinal cord tissue. In some cases, they have been successful in restoring some degree of movement and sensation to paralyzed patients.
Another promising avenue of research is the use of nerve grafts. Nerve grafts involve transplanting a section of nerve tissue from another part of the body to replace the damaged tissue in the spinal cord. While still in the experimental stages, this approach has shown some promising results in animal studies.
More recently researchers are also exploring the use of electrical stimulation to promote nerve regeneration. By using electrical impulses to stimulate damaged nerve cells, researchers have been able to promote the regrowth of nerve fibres and improve motor function in animals.
Electrical stimulation is a non-invasive technique that can be used to promote nerve regeneration in a targeted area of the spinal cord. Unlike surgical approaches, electrical stimulation does not require the insertion of electrodes into the spinal cord tissue, which can be risky and lead to further injury. Instead, electrodes are placed on the skin or just beneath the skin's surface, allowing for precise and controlled stimulation of the damaged nerves. Additionally, electrical stimulation is relatively safe and well-tolerated, making it a promising approach for spinal cord injury patients who may be at higher risk for complications associated with invasive procedures. Overall, electrical stimulation offers a promising avenue for promoting nerve regeneration and improving functional outcomes for those living with spinal cord injuries.
While there is still much work to be done, these advances in spinal cord research offer hope to those who have suffered from spinal cord injuries. With continued research and development, we may one day be able to fully rebuild the human spinal cord and restore mobility and sensation to those who have been affected by these devastating injuries.
Have you or a loved one sufferred an SCI in an accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and have suffered an SCI you should contact one of our highly experienced personal injury lawyers at Deutschmann Personal Injury and Disability Law today for a free consultation on your case. Don’t face your situation alone. We’re here to help you. 1.844.481.4878