Spinal cord injuries have often been viewed as life-altering injuries because there may not be any potential for healing. Someone who suffers a severe spinal cord injury in a car accident, for instance, may never recover any feeling or mobility below the level of that injury. This can leave them paralyzed for life, even with the best medical care in the world.
This is still true today, but new trials that are being carried out have provided some hope. Fifteen mice were given spinal cord transplants in a new procedure. Twelve of them were able to move and walk normally after the procedure. This is viewed as a massive success, even though it is not a 100% success rate. Nothing like this has ever been done before in humans, of course, but human trials are hopefully about three years out.
But will it work for humans?
Many medical trials start with mice to get a sense of whether or not things can even be accomplished, and then they move forward to human trials to see if they can scale things up. At this time, there’s no telling if those human trials will get the same sort of results.
The head of the project, however, said that he believes that the human trials will work. His goal is to give those who are suffering from paralysis and other spinal cord injury symptoms at least some level of hope. Ideally, those who are unable to walk after a spinal cord injury will be able to regain at least this ability.
If this all does happen, it’s clear that it would be life-changing for many people. It will be very important to keep an eye on this in the future, especially for those who suffered serious injuries in car accidents, falls, workplace accidents and other sorts of incidents.
It will be expensive and rare
That said, even if the surgery does show promise, it will no doubt be very expensive and fairly rare. Those who have suffered from spinal cord injuries need to make sure that they understand all of the rights they have to seek financial compensation. Medical technology is always getting better, but there are still many hurdles to overcome. Financial compensation can help with some of them.