Spine Archive: Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

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Various Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries

While damage to the spinal cord is irreversible, there are always new methods being developed for treating injuries. To find out more, search here in Dr. Leone’s Knowledge Center.

When the spinal cord is damaged it becomes increasingly challenging to get it back to its original condition. Although it may never be in the shape it once was – there are methods to maintaining and treating spinal cord injuries including immobilization (where movement is restricted for alignment), surgery (removing objects, stabilizing the spine), medications (reducing damage and inflammation), and even experimental treatments (nerve regeneration).

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Preservation of the Spine

To learn more about a healthy spine please explore Dr. Leone’s Knowledge Center.

While preserving one’s spine may seem to have a straightforward answer, it really depends on a case-to-case basis as to how patients can go about protecting the spine and in more likely situations, what patients can do to rectify their spinal problems. In patients exhibiting pain, it is best to isolate the cause of pain. From here, the doctor can prescribe the proper course of treatment – whether it be structural via surgery or something different.

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Alternatives to Neck and Back Pain

Have you been told that surgery is your only option to relieving pain? There are many other alternate options to spine surgery. Please search our Knowledge Center – here we have compiled bountiful information on alternative treatment to your pain.

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Dislocations in the Thoracic Spine

Fractures-dislocations are common injuries in the thoracic spine because of the significant forces acting on a rigid portion of the spine. Up to 90% of these injuries are associated with a spinal cord injury, most commonly complete (ASIA impairment scale category A). Because all three spinal columns are involved, these fractures are very unstable. In patients with complete neurologic injury, a posterior stabilization procedure can be performed once their clinical condition is optimized. This will allow for early mobilization and help minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with these injuries.

¹R. Vaccaro MD, Alexander. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.

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Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Most acute spinal cord injuries occur with some spinal column instability, and hence, are typically treated with surgical stabilization with or without decompression. The most controversial aspect of this treatment is the timing of surgical decompression. Despite fairly convincing data from animal models that early surgical decompression promotes a better neurologic outcome than late decompression, it has been difficult to reproduce these results in human patients with spinal cord injury.¹

¹Flynn MD, John. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update : 10. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2011.