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Miracles Do Exist for Spinal Cord Injuries

Published: September 11, 2007  |  Source: medicine.org  | Spinal Cord Injury: , ,

Not so very long ago, injuring your spinal cord meant paralysis, perhaps death. The higher the injury, the worse the prognosis. For instance, if your spinal cord was injured in the neck or Cervical region, your chances of recovery were nil. However, injuries in the lower Lumbar had a much greater chance of partial recovery.

Today, however, medical miracles are around every corner, or so they were for the Buffalo Bills football star, Kevin Everett, who injured his cervical spinal cord a few days ago during a heads down tackle.

The initial assessment was grim, as they carried Kevin off the field. However, rapid and aggressive treatment may have saved him. The spinal cord was cooled with intravenous fluids, steroids were administered to decrease inflammation and swelling, and oxygen was given to the oxygen starved nerves within the spinal cord itself.

The head to head collision compressed the C-3 and C-4 Vertebrae in Everett’s neck, fracturing both vertebrae, damaging the soft cervical disc between them and crushing the front of his spinal cord. The vertebrae literally exploded. No type of helmet could be made to prevent this type of injury without severely limiting motion. To coaches, fans, and family who were watching, the injury was the one most feared. The injury was the same as Christopher Reeves, the actor who died in 2004, 10 years after his spinal cord accident.

Although ‘spearheading’ or using your helmet as a weapon is outlawed, it still occurs. What is remarkable is that with the speed and weight of professional football players, and their multiple contacts over a long period of time, it is a wonder that more spinal cord injuries do not occur
In Kevin’s case, he was fortunate to have one of the best neurosurgeons in America. He was taken to the operating room within 15 minutes of his arrival at the hospital. His vertebrae were fused, and pressure relieved around the spinal cord.

Only yesterday, Kevin had the ability to voluntarily move his own limbs.

The surgeon’s prognosis: He will walk again!

Submitted by Roxanne RN
www.medicine.org

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Comments:

One thought on “Miracles Do Exist for Spinal Cord Injuries”

  1. Eric Johnson says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that Everett is having tremendous ammount of return after his injury. But this “Miracle” gets me very upset every time I hear about him. Again, not at Everett, but the extraordinary treatment he was given. And before anyone thinks of it as, “every SCI is different” I agree with that as well. The difference, in my eyes, is that the average individual who has had a SCI does NOT, repeat, NOT get the same attention and treatment as celebrities and persons of high financial standing commonly receive. It is very disapointing and infuriating that here in America, in supposedly the greatest country on the planet, that all preventative measures available are not being implemented in this countries emergency rooms. For all countries for that matter. There is not an excuse as to why all these procedures are not a standard in todays health systems. Spinal cord injuries are truly catastrophic and life-shattering events that NEED to be regarded as preventable. And they can be. The fact that SCI levels of severity can be drastically reduced simply by the use of some or all available treatments. This would be the difference between waking up in the hospital only being able to barely move your head or having the medical staff telling you to stop wandering the halls with your backside exposed in those wonderful, drafty gowns they give you.

    That is why I’m going off on a rant today. Every one should be given the opportunity to keep their freedom and free will that the majority of us were not given a choice.

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