The results of a new study were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons the study focused on new developments in the treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI). According to Dr. Ranjan Gupta, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery, anatomy, neurobiology and biomedical engineering at the University of California, Irvine, the management of injury victims and an eventual cure will involve the use expertise in different fields. The statistics reflecting the number of accident victims who sustain spinal cord injuries are compelling.
• Each year, approximately 12,000 men and women sustain and survive spinal cord injuries, and about 259,000 Americans currently live with a long-lasting SCI.
• Although traditionally associated primarily with young adults, today the average age of SCI patients has risen to 40.2 years.
• Automobile crashes are the most common cause of SCI, and males are most often affected, comprising almost 81% of all SCI patients.
Dr. Gupta sited newer therapeutic approaches involving the use of stem cell therapy and novel drug formulations, as the most promising modalities for SCI victims. “Yet, spinal cord injuries are especially difficult to treat because they involve more than a direct injury to the spine,” noted Dr. Gupta. “The primary mode of an SCI involves changes to the patient’s anatomy that occur as the result of the actual traumatic event. Secondary injuries may occur as a result of how the body responds to the primary injury, usually by producing scar tissue that can make treatment problematic.” The research, development, and use of new drugs and cellular transplantation in the treatment of the secondary injuries are the most promising. “Yet, to maximize the chances for recovery after SCI, early surgical intervention is essential,” he stated. Clinical trials with animals involving pharmacological intervention and the fact that the FDA is being more receptive to cellular transplantation trials, form the foundation for future human trials.
Auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents and other traumatic accidents causing Spine injuries can be life changing. New and progressive medical treatment can have a dramatic effect on the ultimate outcome in resolving injuries and minimizing any residual effects. However, continued research leading to new approaches in the management and treatment of spine injuries and brain injuries are the keys to continued success. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been seriously injured is equally important.