Restoring the spinal cord after injury
The prevalence of spinal injuries is quite large and, according to some studies, approximately 10% of all injuries of the musculoskeletal apparatus. Spinal injuries are often accompanied by damage to the spinal cord.
Causes and consequences of injuries
To injure the spine is not too difficult. At the time of passage through the birth canal the baby for the first time is faced with threat to injure.
To judge the possible injuries of the spine in most cases, assuming that was the cause of his injuries. For example, during a car accident the passengers in the first place suffers cervical. Same damage characteristic of careless divers and motorcyclists. Drop back is fraught with fracture of the lower or pelvic part of the spine, suffer also heel bone.
The severity of the injury can vary from mild injury to complex fractures with injury of the spinal cord. The view of the injury depends on the force of impact and area of impact. Any incident, which was damaged spine, especially if the integrity of the spinal cord, is very serious. One third of patients with such injuries die, 80-90% are disabled. Fatal especially frequently the spinal cord in the cervical spine. Death may occur because of circulatory arrest or breathing still at the scene. In the future, the cause of death of patient with spinal cord injury can be complications such as urological problems, pressure sores from further infected blood or hypostatic pneumonia.
The consequences that arise after injury to spine and spinal cord, closely associated with the way quick was given first aid and how well it is made. Inept intervention can only exacerbate the condition of the patient.
You should be prepared for the fact that rehabilitation is a long and complicated process. It will require a great effort from the victim, so the recovery of the patient involved several specialists: a psychologist, a neurosurgeon, orthopedic surgeon, physiotherapist.
The period of treatment and recovery
Treatment of damages of spine and spinal cord begins with the right to administer first aid. The sooner it is provided, the higher the chances of a person to maintain the integrity of the spinal cord and prevent its complete anatomical rupture. Complete rupture of the spinal cord will lead to the fact that disrupted the functioning of all the organs that are located below the level of spinal injury, and their recovery will be impossible. For this reason the victim without delay introduce a special drugs that support the viability of the cells of the spinal cord, and immediately do the surgery. It is very important to remove all fragments and debris of the spine that interfere with the proper working of the spinal cord. Then doctors try to normalize the process of circulation, then fix the damaged division of the spine so that he was at rest and not subjected to any loads.
Rehabilitation and recovery process of the spinal cord and the spine after a successful operation will begin immediately, but to assess the extent of damage and prescribe the next treatment will be possible only after spinal shock, because under its influence, the victim is not able to control their own body and feel it.
Neural processes are very slow to recover, so after the spinal shock, the body a long time will be divided into controllable part and an Autonomous. If the spinal cord was damaged partially, the sensitivity of the limbs and control over the functioning of the organs, which are located below the injury site, gradually begin to return. When full anatomical gap spinal cord restoration. No therapy will recover fully ruptured spinal cord. In such a situation, gymnastics and exercises are essential to prevent the formation of pressure sores and stasis of blood. The maximum period that doctors give for the return of the survivor functions for 2 years. Those body functions that have not returned to normal after this deadline are considered lost.
Sometimes the mobility of the limbs is not refundable due to the fact that rehabilitation on recovery was wrong. The victim should make every effort to do physical therapy, to perform all assigned exercises to maintain muscle tone. Otherwise, drug treatment will be useless due to the fact that the immobility of the body will lead to atrophy of muscles.
Therapeutic exercises and other activities should not end until complete recovery.
Types of damage
In accordance with the trauma treatment. The bigger it gets corrupted the spine and spinal cord, the harder and longer the process of rehabilitation.
Spinal injury nature of injury:
- distortion is a complete rupture or partial tear of ligaments and bags of joints of the vertebrae (without displacement);
- fractures of transverse and spinous processes; the vertebral arcs fractures; fractures of vertebral bodies; luxations and subluxations of the vertebrae; fracture dislocation; spondylolisthesis — displacement of vertebrae, which occurs due to destruction of the ligamentous apparatus of the (gradual offset).
In General, in medicine it is accepted to allocate injury to the vertebral column at:
- complicated (when damaged the spinal cord);
- stable (the resulting injury is not deformed and does not aggravate the situation);
Spinal cord injury:
- reversible (concussion);
- irreversible (contusion, bruise);
- compression of the spinal cord (splinter, chip, pulposus core, fragments of ligaments, edema, hematoma).
In order for the body began to function, it must continuously maintain in shape. Rehabilitation is hard work for the victim and the group of medical specialists.
Rehabilitation after injuries to the spinal column
Not always the treatment of damaged spine requires radical measures. For minor injuries and stable injury is sufficient to comply with bed rest, massage, heat treatments and exercises to maintain the functional abilities of the connective tissues.
More complex injuries that require surgical intervention are subject to conservative method of treatment. Deformation of the vertebrae is corrected by repositioning or stretching of the vertebrae. For this to the affected area wear a special collar or corset.
Sometimes surgery can be prescribed if conservative treatments do not give positive result or reconstruction of the damaged vertebrae.
If you have all the signs of severe spinal injury and spinal cord injury, surgical intervention is the only correct solution. Timely operation saves not only the patient’s life, but also reduces the percentage of the likelihood of further complications.
The recovery of the spine from slight injuries of the spinal cord starts from the first days of stay in the hospital. The patient is assigned to breathing exercises and physical therapy. The second week of the rehabilitation period supported by additional complex medical therapy: massage, warm up, light exercise, and exercises (selected individually according to your injury), you are allowed to move independently of the limbs.
More complex spinal cord injuries require a longer rehabilitation time. After surgery to correct the deformity of the vertebrae and release the spinal cord from compressing its elements a patient needs to stay immobile so that the vertebrae were strengthened, healed the damaged tissue began to regenerate nerve processes. Further treatment and recovery of motor abilities of the organism will depend to a greater extent on purposefulness of the patient and of his desire to move on their own.
To explain how to restore the spine and your body after a serious injury, it can only be the doctor, based on individual indicators of health status of the patient. Further rehabilitation should take place under the supervision of physicians, rehabilitation specialists. Refusal of medical services and self-treatment often do not yield results, and sometimes lead to complications. This applies to those cases when the relaxation exercises and gymnastics properly (in this case) or performed with excessive zeal (excessive load).
Medicine offers a wide range of therapeutic services that enable you to quickly put the patient back on his feet. There are specialized centers for people with disabilities. One of the most effective methods to date is the electrical stimulation of muscles. When performing exercises the patient’s muscles are additionally stimulated by electrical impulses, causing them to shrink. The electric pulse effect on dormant nerve endings of the spinal cord and contributes to their activation, gymnastics and physical therapy exercises to improve muscle activity.
Rehabilitation involves a course of drugs and anabolic hormones, which is aimed at accelerating the regeneration of cells and nerve endings, improve blood circulation and intracellular processes.
Exercises and physiotherapy should be performed for patients not only in rehab but at home. The main thing — to comply with all recommendations of the doctor.
Thanks to new research in the field of neurosurgery, which are based on the transplantation of embryonic tissues, very soon medicine will be able to offer more effective treatments that allows you to restore the affected segments of the spinal cord.