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What treatments are available for spinal cord injuries?

Most West Virginians probably understand that the spinal cord is a vital component of their body and that injuries to it can lead to permanent disabilities. Paralysis and other effects of spinal cord injuries can be devastating, but what are the available treatments that can help people with such injuries?

Although doctors and researchers are continually looking for new and better ways to treat spinal cord injuries, they have not yet developed any known methods of reversing the damage caused by these injuries. However, doctors and other medical professionals can help spinal cord injury victims take steps to not worsen the injury and to improve their quality of life.

As soon as a person suffers a spinal cord injury, emergency responders should immobilize the spine as quickly as possible to prevent further injury. After the immediate emergency, surgery, medicine and experimental treatments can help the injured person. Next, rehabilitation can include everything from physical therapy to electrical stimulation.

The available treatments and rehabilitation options may vary depending upon each person's circumstances and the severity of their spinal cord injury. But all of the options usually come at a great financial expense, and medical care can be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the expenses that a person can face due to a spinal cord injury. For example, many victims need long-term care just to help them survive and accomplish everyday tasks.

The spinal cord is crucial to human life, and injuries to it are always a serious matter. When such an injury is caused by someone else's negligence, the injured victim may be able to hold the negligent party responsible for the damages he or she caused.

Source: National Institutes of Health, "What are the treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI)?," Accessed July 24, 2015

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