Spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating potential consequences of a traffic accident. Severe spinal cord injury usually results in permanent paralysis, robbing victims of the ability to care for themselves, hold down a job, and even maintain the same relationships they once had.
However, new research is providing hope for victims of spinal cord injury. Experiments performed at the University of Louisville and University of California successfully restored voluntary lower body movement in four patients who were previously told they would never be able to move their legs again. The researchers sent electrical currents through the spine using a device embedded beneath the skin (called “epidural stimulation”). This formed a connection between the brain and legs that was previously thought impossible to restore.
All four men had been paralyzed for two to four years. As a result of this experiment, they were able to:
- Stand and support their own weight
- Lift their legs
- Flex their ankles
Even more surprising was the fact that the men also regained bowel, bladder, and sexual function – even when the electrical device was turned off.
While it is too early to know if all victims of paralysis could benefit from this treatment, it is encouraging to at least know that for some people, paralysis may not be a life-long sentence.
If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, please contact Stephens & Holman today or call 604-730-4120 for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers.