Stem Cell Implantation for Spinal Cord Injury
There are thousands of patients who suffer from spinal cord injuries (SCI) every year. The reasons are numerous: accidental falls, traffic accidents, and other unexpected events. Many of these people remain paralyzed thereafter: confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. Historically, Spinal Cord Injury has been essentially permanent and irreversible. Anyway, several studies have shown that, to some degree, many incomplete SCI can be repaired, with a considerable return of neurological function.
Spinal cord reconstruction is a procedure that aims to clear the old scars, separate nerves, and connected the disconnected injured spinal cord. During the procedure, the peripheral nerve graft will be adopted: the clinic’s specialists will take the patient’s peripheral nerves (from the calf) to bridge the broken spinal cord. The peripheral nerves in the calf are easy to take and this process won’t affect the patient’s calf function. If necessary, a biological tube will be combined: the biological tube can help bridge the spinal cord in a better way, protect the spinal cord, and lead it to recovery on the right track. The biological tube can be absorbed by the patient’s body within one week (7 days). Thus, it doesn’t need another surgery to take it out of the patient’s body.
Simultaneously with the spinal cord reconstruction, a local injection of stem cells will be administered to provide a living substrate for the healing and repair. Stem cell therapy has been shown to enhance and facilitate SCI patients’ recovery. It can substitute and replace some lost neural functions and help regenerate spinal nerves and structural fibers that are very critical to the recovery of function.
Benefits of the Spinal Cord Reconstruction and Stem Cell Implantation
- This method can restore previously (and otherwise permanently lost) neurological function in severe SCI cases.
- Improvement of the sensory plane (patients are able to feel a sensation at levels lower than their injury).
- Improvement of the motor function (voluntary movement) below the level of the injury.
- Control of the bowel and bladder functions.