One of the most serious injuries someone can endure in an auto accident or a slip and fall accident is injury to the spine. When the spine is fractured or compressed, it typically does not heal and the accident victim can end up partially or fully paralyzed. The cost of care can total in the millions, and a patients’s quality of life can be forever diminished. Unfortunately, as a personal injury attorney, I have seen this happen too many times.
Extensive research into the treatment of spinal cord injuries, is now yielding new hope of providing paralyzed people with the ability to regain movement. The New Yorker recently reported on new experimental therapies involving the use of olfactory ensheathing cells. Further research being done on this therapy, but one case has already showed promising results. If further positive results occur, hopefully spinal cord injury victims may one day have new options for recovery.
New Treatment Could Help Spinal Cord Injury Victims
The New Yorker reported on efforts being made to advance the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The case study focused on a man named Darek Fidyka. He was stabbed 18 times including a stab wound that nearly cut his spinal cord in half. Fidyka lost the feeling in his legs, and the attack left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Six months after the injury, he had regained no strength and still had no feeling in his legs. Then, he underwent an operation during which the surgeons removed cells surrounding the nerves that run from his nose to his brain. These cells were injected into the gap left by the knife in his spinal cord.
The experimental operation was designed to test a theory that olfactory ensheathing cells could help heal the spine. Olfactory ensheathing cells are supporting cells that facilitate the regrowth of neurons within nasal passages. Pollution, viruses, and other factors cause neurons in the nasal passages to die, and the olfactory ensheathing cells allow these neurons to be reborn. The olfactory ensheathing cells form tunnels that the neurons move through. The hope is that the cells will work the same way within the spine.
After the operation, Fidyka began physical therapy. Normally any improvement after a spinal cord injury occurs within the first six months with no subsequent change. Fidyka was past the first six months, but after the olfactory ensheathing cells were inserted into his spine, he began to experience muscle activity in his left leg and began feeling pinpricks and other sensations, including pain, in his legs.
MRI scans and electrical-muscular studies show that neurons in Fidyka’s spinal cord both above and below his wound have begun to sprout extensions, and it is possible that some of the neurons have actually crossed over his half inch wound to become reconnected. This is a promising development, and the New Yorker indicates that the use of olfactory ensheathing cells have “shown surprising promise in healing spinal-cord injuries in a field dominated by fat-better funded efforts.”
Fidyka continues to improve and can now ride a stationary bike when lifted onto it and can walk with the help of a walking frame and leg braces. If the procedure he underwent shows similar recovery in other patients, then he will have made medical history because he will be the first person who is confirmed to have been able to reverse spinal paralysis as a result of a surgery.
How Can Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney Help Spinal Injury Victims?
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
If you are the victim of an accident and have suffered a spinal cord injury, you deserve compensation from those responsible. I am a Long Beach personal injury attorney dedicated to pursuing the rights of injured accident victims. I take your injuries personally and I will get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. I will advocate for you until your case is resolved.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered a personal accident injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
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