People in New Jersey who injure their spine may find themselves paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair and certainly unable to walk. However, in one breakthrough case, a man who had suffered a complete spinal cord injury is now able to stand up on his own has a certain degree of motion in his legs.
The man was in a motorcycle crash at age 28, during which he broke his neck. Due to his injury, he no longer had the ability to stand up, walk or even move his legs on his own. However, four years later, researchers from the University of Louisville combined intensive rehabilitation sessions with what is known as spinal cord epidural stimulation in an effort to treat the man’s injuries.
The process is complicated. An electrical stimulation device was placed over the man’s spine and would activate when the man was in physical training. The man used this device combined with physical training for 44 months. He is now able to stand and move his legs on his own, even without the device. Three other people who also received such treatment by the same institution also recovered the ability to move, at least to some degree.
Currently the belief is that, when it comes to spinal cord injuries, after 12 months from the date the person was injured, their physical capabilities would no longer improve. However, as this shows, as medical research advances, this may not be the case. Nevertheless, many people with spinal cord injuries do not have access to such advanced technology and remain extremely limited in what they can do. If a spinal cord injury prevents a person from being able to work, this can seriously impact the person’s ability to meet their financial needs. Therefore, they may want to seek Social Security disability benefits. An attorney can assess their case, and help them with the application process.
Source: Science Alert, “Breakthrough Treatment Lets Man With Spinal Cord Injury Stand And Move Legs,” Michelle Starr, Oct. 27, 2017