Paralyzed Patients Walk Again with Help from 'Bionic' Suit

After an ATV accident, a 26-year-old man was left with a severed spinal cord. Surgeons assumed he would never walk again.

A special ‘bionic’ suit, however, is changing the game; he can now push his hips and legs forward using a motorized body suit called “ReWalk.” The system uses computers and motion sensors to help him move, while upper body support comes from forearm crutches.

The ReWalk system is not the only one raising hopes in spinal cord injury patients. Another team hopes by implanting electrical stimulators on patients’ nerve endings, they can retrain the spinal nerves to work with the brain again.

Though this second approach has shown incredible results, it is far from perfect. The method has occasionally resulted in terrible damage to patients’ nerves and muscles.

Almost 300,000 Americans live with spinal cord injuries. Nearly half of them are between 16 and 30, with car accidents and falls being the most common causes.

While getting up at all is a tremendous psychological boost for those with spinal cord injuries, mobility also has a positive impact on internal organs, digestion and muscle tone. The promise of being able to walk again is frequently enough to motivate many paralyzed patients.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, Depaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia Injury Attorneys

 

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