Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis Treatment: Good News at Last?
There are few injuries out there that bring with them the fear that’s associated with spinal cord injuries. The simple thought of suffering a severe spinal injury is enough to scare anyone, but sadly, these accidents still occur to people on a daily basis.
Understanding these injuries is imperative for those who want to avoid them or any further potential damage after an accident; but for those who have already sustained an injury of this seriousness, there may be hope on the horizon.
Common Accidents Leading to Spinal Injuries
There are various ways that a person could experience a spinal cord injury. In fact, some of these causes, such as cancer and arthritis, aren’t even related to serious accidents. When high-impact accidents do occur, however, the risk of spinal injury is great.
Motor Vehicle Collisions - Vehicular accidents account for over 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries every single year. This is by far the most common cause of spinal cord injuries.
Violence- Sadly, around 15 percent of spinal cord injuries are not caused by accidents. Many of these injuries result from violent events such as shootings or stabbings.
Falling – Falls can also easily lead to spinal cord injuries. In fact, in individuals over the age of 65, falling is the most common cause of these injuries. A full 25 percent of all of these injuries are also caused by falls.
Regardless of cause of these traumatic injuries, patients who will need to have competent support on their side are on the rise. This may lead them to research resources to help them obtain this support. It is important to start with a consultation with a legal professional that is well versed in state laws regarding accidents and personal injury.
For example, injured parties that reside in Florida might contact a personal injury attorney like Williams Law Association, P.A., a Tampa injury law firm, or a community advocacy group, such as the Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center.
Common Results of Spinal Injuries
There are various common results that can occur after a spinal cord injury. The most detrimental is obviously paralysis. Just one quick accident can turn an otherwise healthy individual into a prisoner within their own body.
While less severe injuries may simply lead to the loss of sensation or movement in certain appendages, a serious enough injury can lead to full paraplegia or quadriplegia.
The long term effects of these injuries are numerous and often disastrous. In many cases, individuals are unable to walk or move certain parts of their bodies ever again. Another terrible outcome is the financial loss that occurs.
A person who suffers an accident leading to paraplegia at the age of 25, for instance, is expected to need $428,000 to care for their injury over their lifetime. When it comes to quadriplegics, this number jumps to $1.35 million.
A Brighter Future?
Luckily, medical science takes spinal cord injuries very seriously, and this means that there is constant research being performed on the problem.There are of course surgical and pharmaceutical options that work well for some, but these treatments don’t always work for everyone. Fortunately for those who don’t see benefits from these treatments, new options are coming to light.
Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, for instance, have found a type of treatment that makes use of a person’s own stem cells. When combined with physical therapy, patients redeveloped some of their sensitivity and were even able to be taken off of catheters.
Even more promising is the report released in April 2013 that showed scientists had been able to allow a partially paralyzed monkey to control his own arm through external electrical signals.There’s no doubt that spinal cord injuries are especially detrimental, but as seen in modern research and constant stories of miraculous recoveries, there is still hope.
It’s an unfortunate fact that absolutely anyone can experience a spinal cord injury in one way or another, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a lifelong condition.
As modern medicine progresses, so too will knowledge related to spinal injuries; and at the rate scientists are going, an amazing treatment may be right over the horizon.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and blogger who contributes this article as a means of spreading the word about the good news regarding spinal cord injuries. Williams Law Association, P.A.
is a Tampa attorney whose years of experience and knowledge has brought peace of mind to countless individuals seeking justice for the trauma they endured which resulted in paralysis or spinal cord injury.