The results of a randomized clinical study currently conducted by researchers at UC Davis could give victims of severe spinal injuries in New Jersey hope for the future. About 12,500 spinal cord injuries occur annually in the United States, with 40% of those classified as severe. Many of these people have little or no spinal cord function.
Affects of spinal cord injuries
When the spinal cord sustains severe physical injuries in motor vehicle accidents, nerve damage occurs initially followed by swelling that increases pressure and may even cut off blood flow to surviving nerves. Such damage may impact an individual’s sensory functions and motor skills, frequently leading to full or partial paralysis. Cysts can also for at the injury site, further obstructing regeneration.
The UC Davis clinical trial
The UC Davis trial, conducted at medical centers nationwide, recruited 16 people with injuries in the spinal cord’s thoracic section. Some participants received a neuro-spinal scaffold placed into the injured spinal cord, which eventually breaks down and is absorbed by the body, while other patients in the control group did not receive the device.
After six months, researchers found that study participants reported regaining some feeling in paralyzed areas at a slightly higher rate than those with similar injuries who did not receive the device. A 24-month follow-up showed that some participants had further improvements.
Dealing with injuries
Victims of truck, motorcycle and car accidents sometimes must live with severe injuries that significantly affect their quality of life. Some people must undergo months of medical treatment in hospitals, receive continuous physical therapy and take time off work. Some victims may not return to their jobs after sustaining severe spinal cord injuries, resulting in permanent disabilities.
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe spinal cord injury resulting in disability, you may be able to file a claim against the driver who caused your injuries. If the suit is successful, you could use the money from a successful lawsuit to pay for medical and living expenses.