The breakthrough treatment for spinal cord injury is centered around the epidural stimulation device.
The device activates the para-sympathetic nervous system, which is not the original route via which brain connects with the limbs, so even if the spinal cord is fully injured, there is still an alternative route to connect to the lower parts of the body.
The safety profile of the procedure is good in that there are many decades of experience in surgically implanting electrical devices( e.g. heart pacemakers or spinal pain management devices) with very few complications.
Once implanted, the patient learns how to control the device and the resulting limb movements.
• Whilst the stimulator is activated, hips, legs, knees, ankles and toes can be moved voluntarily
• Body temperature regulation is improved • Blood pressure stabilized
• Provided the stimulator is activated, ability to bear own weight with no support (Depending on injury location) • Muscle mass growth
• Fatigue is reduced • Activity increases • Motivation increases
• Bowel, bladder and reproductive organs functions are improved
• Potential Improvements seen in patients after implantation