Recovering From an Injury to Your Spinal Cord

The spinal cord plays a vital role to your body’s function. It exchanges information between your brain and the rest of your body. If the spinal cord gets damaged through an injury or a range of possible diseases, the transmission process can stop functioning. The resulting symptoms can potentially be both life altering and devastating. Currently, there are no available treatments which can fully restore your spinal cord after a serious spinal injury. However, research is making great progress towards this goal.

Restoring Connections

A lot of research is being conducted in stimulating the axons in your back to grow and restore broken connections in your spinal cord. An axon is a nerve bundle that runs from the brain to the body and it plays a key role in the body’s signal transmission mechanisms.

The difficulty in fully restoring nerves after a spinal cord injury comes from the fact that usually when researchers try to stimulate axon growth, the growth stops at the injury site and never continues all the way to the brain. Recently, some researchers like Dr. Mark Tuszynski at The University of California, have made exciting discoveries that promise to some day extend axon growth past the injury site and help patients achieve a full recovery after a spinal cord injury.

Repairing Secondary Damage

Even after overcoming the initial spinal cord injury and restoring axon connections, there are still many problems doctors and patients will have to overcome before making a full recovery. After a spinal injury things like inflammation, cell death, and blood flow issues can arise. Fixing these complications is a difficult challenge. Research shows that doctors may be able to prevent these complications if they can administer drugs right after the injury occurs in order to help improve the rate of nerve cell survival.

Many labs are currently testing drugs which may some day be used to fix many of these issues, even in patients who were not able to get care immediately after their injury occurred. Lots of work is being done on finding new ways to help spinal cord injury victims recover. New drugs and procedures are being developed every day.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, Dr. Marc A. Cohen may be able to help. Dr. Cohen is a renowned surgeon in conventional spinal procedures and a leader in minimally invasive micro spine surgery and endoscopic laser spine surgery. Contact the Spine Institute in New Jersey by calling 973-538-4444 to make an appointment.