Damage to the spinal cord may have irreversible effects. Physicians use a number of methods so that the nerve cells could be regenerated. These include stem cell therapy, medications, and prostheses. These measures also aim to improve the functionality of the damaged nerves. Spinal cord injury treatment also focuses on minimizing the effects of the neck or head trauma. The treatment of spinal cord injury begins at the site of the accident itself.
Acute or Early Stages
Emergency medical technicians attending the scene immediately immobilize the spine through rigid board and neck collar, as gently and early as possible. They also use the equipment for transferring the patient safely to the hospital. Doctors focus on maintaining the breathing ability of the patient, preventing shock and immobilizing the neck so that no further damage occurs. They also work to avoid the other complications, including the retention of urine and stool, cardiovascular problems and respiratory difficulties. The methods aim to reduce or null the formation of blood clots in the veins. The patient is often sedated during the treatment.
When methylprednisolone is administered within 8 hours of injury, the patient may show some improvements. While the drug does not cure the injury, it does reduce inflammation and damage to the neural cells.
Traction is used for stabilizing the spine. It also properly aligns the spine.
Surgery provides for removal of the broken bone fragments and other foreign objects from the site of injury.
Once the condition stabilizes, doctors turn their focus on preventing the secondary problems. These include ulcers, reconditioning, issues related to the bladder and bowel movements, blood clots and respiratory infections. Once these issues are addressed, the patient can undergo the rehabilitation program.
The rehabilitation program for treating spinal cord injury treats different physical and mental health conditions. At NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute (NGSBI), known among the leading stem cell therapy provider institutions in India, we offer a complete rehabilitation program for spinal cord injury treatment.
The different therapies that are provided as parts of the rehabilitation program include:
● Occupational therapy
● Speech therapy
● Psychologist sessions
● Aquatic therapy
● Andrologist treatment
● Deit counseling
● Dance and Music therapy
● Yoga therapy
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury is a relatively new way of treating the disease. The treatment is only offered at a few health care facilities across the globe. Stem cells are the cells that have self-renewal and differentiation (the ability to attain specialized forms to carry out special functions, like neural functions) properties. Stem cells are the basic pool of cells from which all other cells of the body are formed. The transplantation of these cells in the body of the affected individuals provides for replenishment of the healthy neural cell pool, as the cells divide and differentiate to form all kinds of neural cells, once transplanted.
Stem cells, when transplanted within 6 months of the injury, provide for control of inflammation and reduce secondary tissue damage. The cells also help in regulation of neural functions, as they form the new synapses and the axonal sprouts that help in making of new health neurons. The therapeutic cells also offer benefits like angiogenesis or the formation of new blood cells, so that the cells can get adequate oxygen supply. The cells secrete certain Neurotrophic factors that provide for tissue growth and repair. These regenerative cells also form the myelin sheath of neurons that can provide for transmission of nerve impulses.
Stem cell therapy comes closest in treating spinal cord injury at its root causes. Bedridden patients are able to stand on their feet again, post therapy.