What treatments exist for severe spinal cord injuries?
For one former football player, dreams came true as he managed to walk across the graduation stage two and a half years after suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury. Ty Williams was a Georgetown University linebacker. His life was forever altered during his sophomore year when Williams broke five bones in his neck and vertebrae. Undaunted, paralyzed Williams underwent years of rehabilitation and even became the team captain. On graduation day, Williams defied all odds as he miraculously managed to lift himself out of his chair and walk across the stage.
Recovery From a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating injuries one can suffer. The spine is a delicate part of the body that controls our movement. When the bones and nerves within the spine are damaged, it can lead to impaired movement, feeling, and potentially paralysis. Spinal cord injuries can generally be divided into complete injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries. Complete spinal cord injuries occur when the damage to the spine cuts off signals between the brain and spinal cord entirely. Incomplete injuries involve disruptions to the signals, but not complete compromise to functions.
The outlook for spinal cord injuries varies depending on the severity. Patients who experience less than complete paralysis traditionally have a better chance for recovery. However, with advancing medical technologies and recovery techniques, even patients with paralysis have a chance at one day regaining some degree of motion.
Treatment Options for Spinal Cord Injuries
Treatment for a spinal cord injury varies, with early treatments critical to your long term recovery. Potential treatment options include:
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and regain strength
- Surgery to remove any structures that have penetrated the spinal cord
- Steroid injections to reduce inflammation around the spinal cord
- Stem cell injections to potentially regenerate damaged spinal cord tissue
Treatments for spinal cord injuries are being developed every day. Spinal cord injury sufferers will face many challenges to their road to recovery, but should remain hopeful of their prognosis. Whereas once a serious spinal cord injury meant a lifetime of paralysis, now spinal cord injury sufferers may someday walk again. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to another person’s reckless behavior, contact a personal injury attorney today.
Posted in: Spinal Cord Injuries