Category: Procedures | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 14, 2014
A brand new spinal shock treatment is sending shockwaves through the medical community (apologies for the pun). The experimental new treatment allowed four paralyzed men to move their legs. Read on for more information about this exciting new treatment.
When most people hear shock therapy, they picture mental patients having their brains shocked into submission in an old asylum. Thankfully, that outdated treatment is no longer the norm. But shock therapy is proving to be useful in other areas of the body, as evidenced by this new treatment.
The new treatment focused on four volunteers, who prior to the treatment were completely paralyzed from the waist down and unable to move their legs for years. To begin the treatment, each man had a small device implanted in his back. At the control of physicians, the device was able to deliver electrical currents to the lower spine, in an attempt to stimulate the nerves that control movement to the lower extremities. In the medical world, the treatment is being called epidural stimulation.
All four participants had previously been paralyzed as a result of car or motorcycle accidents. Immediately after the stimulator device was implanted, the patients were able to voluntarily move their legs, ankles, and feet. Coupling the epidural stimulation with physical therapy helped the participants gain even more of their former functionality.
Many are calling the results of the new treatment groundbreaking, but experts are advising cautious optimism, reminding that the procedure is still in its infancy. Epidural stimulation therapy could indeed help thousands of paralyzed people walk again, but there is still a lot of testing that needs to be done before the treatment can be fully rolled out.