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25 Years of Changes in Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

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Lizabeth L. Marshall
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While a spinal cord injury can be life threatening and cause disability, the treatment of this serious injury has changed dramatically for the better in the last 25 years. In a May 2012 feature article, the Vancouver Sun reviews the many improvements. 

Even though no single big breakthrough stands out in the treatment of spinal cord injuries, many small advances have improved the prognosis for many. Here are some facts about these treatment advances:

  • About 90% of what we know about spinal cord injuries we have learned in the last 25 years.
  • About 30% more spinal cord injury victims are able to walk, compared to the number 25 years ago.
  • Surgical techniques are key. One such technique is called “decompression surgery,” in which the pressure on the spinal cord is relieved.
  • Risks are reduced in the first hours after the injury by using ice and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Accessibility and assisted living equipment like wheelchairs and walkers have improved in design and portability.
  • Electrical stimulation is used to help paralyzed muscles restore and/or improve function. 
  • Rehabilitation techniques have improved with more information about spinal cord injury. Patients get up sooner and move about, stimulating the movement of their muscles. They also go home from hospitals much sooner.

There are still many hurdles to the treatment of spinal cord injuries. Yet research includes promising ideas like the use of stem cells to repair the damage. 

The Massachusetts disability attorneys at Keefe Disability Law represent clients throughout New England with their SSA disability claims. If you or a loved one has been disabled by a spinal cord injury, call us toll free at 888-904-6847 to learn how to apply for benefits. And don’t forget to order a copy of our free report, “Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability.”

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