When someone suffers an incomplete spinal cord injury, therapy and surgery might eventually result in a recovery of lost function and sensation. In a complete spinal cord injury, the damage completely cuts through the spinal cord, with far more serious consequences for the patient.
Historically, a complete spinal cord injury has meant a total loss of sensation and function below the site of the injury with no chance for recovery. The higher on the spine the injury occurs, the more medical consequences the individual will likely suffer.
Just a few months ago, researchers published some of the most promising medical documentation related to complete spinal cord injuries in years. Specifically, they explained how they helped three men with complete spinal cord injuries learn to walk again.
Medical technology has come a long way
Surgeons were able to implant electrodes in three adult men who had healthy spinal cord tissue below the site of their injuries. Powered by a pacemaker, these electrodes can provide a signal to the spinal cord that can lead to physical movement.
Although the patients could not feel anything below the injury site, they could control the impulses the electrodes sent to their spinal cord through an app. With physical therapy training, they regained the ability to walk independently.
Although it will be years before this medical breakthrough is accessible to the average person, there is real hope for those with complete spinal cord injuries who dream of regaining some of their independence. Seeking compensation after a spinal cord injury can help people afford the best treatment available for an injury that will undoubtedly change their daily lives.