Spinal cord injuries1 can often result in temporary or permanent paralysis. The paralysis occurs below the location of the trauma and injury and many victims end up either paralyzed from the waist down or paralyzed from the neck down. Individuals with permanent paralysis often have a slim to none chance of ever walking again and have historically resigned themselves to wheelchairs or beds, which obviously can significantly impair many aspects of their life. Treatment options for complete spinal injuries and paralysis have been limited in the past, however medical researchers are constantly working to develop new treatments to hopefully provide greater odds for paralyzed victims to walk in the future.
New treatment may be on the horizon
The National Institute of Health (NIH) recently reported2 new developments in paralysis treatment that has thus far shown signs of success. The treatment is referred to as transcutaneous stimulation and involves sending an electrical current into the nerves of the spinal cord. This is not the first type of electrical stimulation used to try to reactivate the nervous system, however it does differ from past treatment efforts. In previous years, electrodes were surgically implanted directly onto the spinal cord while the electrodes in this new treatment therapy are simply placed on top of the skin.
Thus far, the new non-invasive therapy has allowed five different men who were completely paralyzed to voluntarily move their legs back and forth. They were laying down and were not bearing any weight or gravity on their legs at the time, however, researchers believe that with more research they can continue to develop this type of treatment to eventually help paralyzed individuals walk again. With continued stimulation treatments and physical therapy, the five patients were able to substantially increase the range of motion in their legs over the course of a few weeks.
Last year, similar movements were reported in four different patients who underwent the invasive type of electrode therapy. However, many spinal cord injury victims are not capable of withstanding additional surgical procedures. Researchers further believe that the non-invasive therapy can be extremely helpful for patients with partial paralysis and can help them determine which patients will respond to stimulation prior to implanting a device on their spine.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways and often when a victim least expects it. For example, a 25-year-old woman made the news in recent years after she suffered an accidental C6 spinal cord injury at her bachelorette party. Set to get married in only a month, the woman went out on the town with her friends and they decided to go swimming afterward. Her best friend jokingly pushed her into the pool, as she claims they had done to each other many times in the past. This time, however, the bride-to-be hit her head on the bottom of the pool and broke her neck, resulting in immediate and permanent paralysis from the waist down, as well as in her hands. Such a story goes to show that spinal injuries can happen at any time to anyone.
In many instances, spinal cord injuries are the result of another party's negligence. The following are some examples of accidents caused by negligence that may result in a spinal cord injury and paralysis:
- Falls from heights or down stairs
- Slips, trips, and falls3
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Sports injuries
- Construction accidents
Anyone who suffers a spinal cord injury—whether you are paralyzed or not—should discuss their situation with an experienced spinal cord attorney as soon as possible to find out if they can recover financially for their losses.
Find out how a qualified St. Petersburg spinal injury lawyer can help you
Though spinal cord injury treatments may be evolving, victims still suffer severe losses including medical expenses, disabilities, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost income, among others. The experienced personal injury lawyers at the Dolman Law Group in St. Petersburg strive to help spinal injury victims receive full compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries. If you have been injured, call our office today at 727-222-6922 for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712