There are many causes of spinal cord injury (SCI) in human beings, unfortunately, there are no known cures to reverse the physical damage that causes paraplegia or quadriplegia.
On the bright side, there are several ways to treat the immobilizing symptoms that result from spinal cord injury, and the most advanced spinal cord injury treatment is called Epidural Stimulation.
It is a breakthrough procedure that involves implanting an electrical device on the injured patient’s spinal cord, and it is producing unprecedented results in SCI patients male and female, young and old. Whether an injury is complete or incomplete or has happened to a healthy or unhealthy individual, makes no difference. Epidural Stimulation is changing how scientists and doctors around the world research and care for spinal cord injuries.
What is Epidural Stimulation?
Epidural Stimulation is conducted by implanting a small electrical device on an SCI patient’s spinal cord. The device consists of an array of electrodes and a stimulator, which together create a sort of “bridge” that connects nerve signals from the brain to the spinal cord tissue below the patient’s injury level.When the patient is out of surgery, the device is then operated by a remote controller that resembles your iPhone, and the results to date have been fantastic. Patients with both complete and incomplete injuries are regaining voluntary movements and having lost bladder and bowel functions restored.
What symptoms can Epidural Stimulation improve?
Right from the outset, the clinical trials conducted in the US were promising. Test subjects were able to wiggle toes, extend legs, balance themselves while seated, stand up straight, and take steps for the first time since the fateful day when they were injured.Results were manifest in all types of spinal cord injuries, from high cervical spine injuries, down to lower thoracic and lumbar spine injuries. Patients experienced numerous improvements in motor ability, muscle mass in their extremities increased, spasms and spasticity were reduced, and sensory functions like bladder sensation, bowel evacuation, and sweating ability were improved.
Where is Epidural Stimulation available?
Epidural Stimulation was, and still is, having great success in various trials and test environments. But, there are apparently several impediments to the procedure’s becoming available commercially in the United States.As a result, while researchers struggle with FDA red tape in their quest to provide Epidural Stimulation in hospitals and clinics in America, Unique Access Medical (UAM) is filling the void.
We provide treatment in our partner hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, a state-of-the-art tertiary care facility accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), which is universally acknowledged to be the highest accreditation a healthcare facility can receive.
Since 2016, a steady flow of SCI patients from around the world has been arriving to receive surgery and muscle-response mapping, as well as physical and occupational therapy. Patient visits typically last around 35 days, after which ongoing therapy is conducted back home.
Would my symptoms improve from Epidural Stimulation?
After your surgery, improvement will be monitored in 15 key areas of motor and sensory function. But that number may vary; it simply depends on the severity of your spinal cord injury and your overall health.
And since every patient is unique, every patient receives personalized care. So perhaps the best way to illustrate the possible differences would be to look at two Epidural Stimulation success stories.
One is David, a 38-year old American male who suffered C4 and C5 vertebrae damage; the other is Shantanu, a 22-year old Nepalese male with a T7 injury — but both have newfound hope thanks to Epidural Stimulation surgery in Bangkok.To discuss your medical history and how to get on a path to a richer, more independent lifestyle, contact our Patient Advocates group for an Epidural Stimulation consultation.