Daily Archives: August 14, 2019
Severe spinal cord injuries (SCIs) — often called complete injuries by clinicians — are ones where no readable signal from the brain reaches the spinal cord beneath the trauma, resulting in total paralysis. The possibility that a patient with this type of severe injury might regain movement was once considered so remote that rehab has traditionally seemed a waste of time.
And yet, in a handful of patients spanning multiple levels of severity, movement is being regained.
Recent surgical trials have bestowed new life on quadriplegics who can now return to activities they never thought they’d be able to do again, thanks to an innovative surgery that relocates nerves.
A dirt bike accident in 2015 left Australian Paul Robinson, now in his 30s, paralyzed from the chest down. Robinson landed on his head and broke one of the vertebrae in his neck, leaving him confined to a wheelchair and rarely able to leave his home. He was one of 16 people participating in a medical trial at Austin Health in Melbourne that used nerve transfers to re-enervate paralyzed muscles in quadriplegic patients.