Spinal Cord Injury Treatments

Spinal Cord Injury Treatments

Spinal cord injury has become a global epidemic, with close to 22 people per one million in the developing and the Western world. Among this, about 130,000 survive the harsh realities of spinal cord injury and live out the rest of their lives paralyzed or bound to a wheel chair each year. In a study, conducted to understand the impact of spinal cord injury on the economy, when the population of Germany was 81 million, about 1500 people were injured per year. While the occurrence of spinal cord injuries has increased considerably over the years, the spinal cord injury treatments and rehabilitation techniques in Germany have also seen a drastic change for the better. Specialist medical centers such as EuroMedic Healthcare have advanced equipment and state-of-the-art techniques to treat traumatic spinal cord injuries.

spinal cord injury treatmentCauses of Spinal Cord Injuries:

Spinal Cord Injuries can be caused by a number of factors such as a sudden blow to the spine that can result in dislocation, fracture, or compression of either a single or more vertebrae.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries:

  • Complete Injury: A complete injury is when the person loses the complete ability to sense stimuli and voluntary movement of body parts below the injury site.
  • Incomplete Injury: An incomplete injury is when the person loses partial functioning and still maintains voluntary functioning of body parts below the injury site.
  • Cervical Neck Injuries: Injury occurs in and around the neck area affecting the arms, legs, and torso.
  • Thoracic Injuries: Injury occurs in the area of the chest affecting the legs.
  • Lumbar Sacral Injuries: Injury occurs at the lower back affecting one or both the legs, bladder and bowels.

Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA):

Patient controlled analgesia is a pain control method where the medication is self-administered in a controlled manner. The patients determine the amount and number of times they need the pain medication. A computerized controlled pump called the analgesia pump is affixed to the patients’ intravenous line. This pump contains doctor prescribed pain medication. The pump can deliver constant flow of pain medication or as required by the patient.

Drug Delivery System:

In this spinal drug delivery system, pain medication is directly administered into the spinal cord. This type of pain control method, also known as intrathecal drug delivery, makes use of a small catheter or a pump that administers pain medication directly into the spinal cord.

Spinal Cord Stimulation:

When other medical pain relief and control treatments have failed to bring about any significant change, spinal cord stimulation is considered as an option. This is a procedure where very low electrical signals are delivered to the spinal cord or to certain specific nerves that can block pain signals travelling to the brain. The device that sends the electrical signals is either implanted right into the person through surgery or through the skin –percutaneously. The person controls the power and intensity of electrical impulses. This is similar to bioelectric therapy.

Stem Cell Therapy for spine:

Recent advancements in stem cell therapy seem to indicate that the future of spinal cord injury treatment is bright. This therapy is aimed at using stem cells to regenerate areas of the spine that are damaged in order to improve post injury functioning of motor skills and sensory organs.

Surgery:

Surgery is often used as a last resort to treat pain arising out of traumatic spinal cord injury. Fragments of the damaged spinal cord, foreign objects, and other herniated discs are removed surgically. Surgery is also needed to stabilize weakened spine and deformity. Surgery is also used to reduce pain using decompression and implanted pain relief and control systems.

Narcotic Pain Medications:

Narcotic or other pain medications are used to inhibit the ability of the brain to send and receive messages of pain. In fact, in addition to narcotic pain medications, other prescription pain relief medications include anticonvulsants, and other corticosteroids.

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