The last few years have seen tremendous advances in treating severe spinal cord injuries. The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury in Baltimore, Maryland is seeing success with a number of techniques to stimulate once paralyzed limbs.
For example, the Center employs Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES), in which a computer sends electrical impulses to a patient’s legs, causing them to contract and relax as the brain normally would. The Center also uses water therapy, creating a low-impact environment for exercise with treadmills and other equipment to train gait patterning.
Although still in the initial stages of research, scuba diving shows promise as deep dives change the gases in the blood, increasing the oxygen in the body’s tissues. One particular patient reported increased sensation during leg spasms while diving.
The University of Kentucky and UCLA are exploring a new treatment that uses electrical stimulation on the spine to prime it for signals from the patient’s own limbs. One paralyzed patient was able to stand independently the third day of treatment. This therapy is believed to possibly help 10 to 15 percent of people with spinal cord injuries.
Not Without a Price
These phenomenal treatments offer new hope for those who have suffered spinal cord injuries. However, they can come at a hefty price that some insurers and government benefit programs are unwilling to cover.
If the spinal cord injury was caused by another party’s negligence, one should not overlook that party when considering funding sources to help pay for the cost of therapy, treatment and rehabilitation. Just as a negligent party would be expected to pay for the damage to a car or home, a party causing damage to a spinal cord through negligent actions should pay for the cost of repairing the damage.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and your options in helping you get the treatment and rehabilitation you deserve.