Every year, thousand of people suffer spinal cord injuries. These injuries can be catastrophic, leaving a victim with limited mobility, extreme pain, and emotional devastation. Treating these injuries can be enormously costly, too, with results that might be less than victims hope for. Yet, spinal cord injuries receive a lot of attention in the medical field, with new technological advances and medical treatments being developed on a fairly regular basis. This should provide spinal cord injury victims with some of hope.
Could ultrasound be a game changer in spinal cord injury treatment?
Biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins University have started work to develop a new device that they hope will revolutionize treatment of spinal cord injuries. The device, which is nothing more than the size of a small bandage, will utilize ultrasound and electrodes to both monitor blood flow around a spinal cord injury and prevent tissue death that occurs following a spinal cord injury. The hope is that by being able to control blood flow and spinal fluids, as well as stimulate tissue and blood vessels around a spinal cord injury, inflammation that often causes worsened paralysis can be significantly reduced.
Experts hope that the device can be developed and brought to market in five years or so, and that it will pave the way for other implantable devices that can help treat a variety of injuries. Of course, we’ll have to wait to see how quickly this device is made available and how effective it ends up being, but it’s promising that scientists are continually identifying contributing factors to worsened effects of spinal cord injuries and are diligently working to address them.
Keep an open mind and stay informed
It can be easy to fall into hopelessness after suffering a catastrophic injury, but treatment options might be available and are ever-changing. That’s why it’s important to stay in the know when it comes to new medical and technological advancements so that the effects of a disabling injury can be minimized as much as possible, allowing a victim to focus on the things that are most important in life.