Rehabilitation of the spinal cord injured individuals is far one of the most challenging fields for the rehabilitation experts. Till today, there is very little to claim as a panacea for the spinal cord injury or regeneration of the damaged spinal cord. However the researchers all over the world find great hope in stem cell therapy (SCT) and it has been proved beyond doubt that the results with SCT coupled with good comprehensive rehabilitation is better than just giving SCT. Therefore, the rehabilitation is being given a better facelift by SCT.
Dr Alok Sharma Professor & Head of Neurosurgery, LTMG Hospital & LTM Medical College, Sion Mumbai and Director NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute said “Spinal Cord Injury affects the person’s functional independence and has a major impact on quality of life, sense of self worth and consequential social participation. Whilst it is generally expected that the degree of functional independence achievable is dependent on a person’s spinal cord injury level, a person’s neurological level should not be viewed as strictly predictive but rather as indicative of potential function.”
Spinal Cord injury occurs after road traffic accidents, railway accidents, falls from heights and sports injuries. It affects 25 out of every 10 lakh people. The consequences of spinal cord injury, whether it is paraplegia or quadriplegia, are severe and crippling.
Dr Nandini Gokulchandran, Deputy Director and Head Medical Services, NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute said “It has been a long standing belief that patients with paraplegia and quadriplegia following spinal cord injury (SCI) will remain wheelchair bound or bedridden for the rest of their lives. The medical community has always felt devoid of a tool to make these patients walk again. But, now with the emerging era of stem cell therapy we can make a difference in the quality of life of these patients and help them get back to their feet once again.”
Here is a case report of Mr. Rakesh Singh, 32-year-old male and a known case of Complete traumatic SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) at the level D8-L1 with bowel and bladder involvement. Six years ago in the year 2011, he fell from the balcony while sleeping injuring his spinal cord thereby causing loss of sensations below the waist. He was immediately admitted at a hospital in Amritsar and was operated. After 8 days, he got discharged and started physiotherapy at home. Gradually he regained independent sitting in 6 months. In 2014, he got sacral sore, which got healed in 6-7 months. “Physiotherapy was stopped 2 years ago due to a fracture in my left thigh. At that time, I was unable to walk or stand independently, had no sensations below the waist and no bowel/bladder control. Was partially dependent for my everyday living activities (ADLs). The most difficult part was I had become non ambulatory.” Says patient Rakesh Singh.
On examination at NeuroGen, the chief complaints found were that Muscle picture suggests that lower limb muscles were absent. Sensory Picture – Sensations were intact till D10, D11-D12 diminished sensation and below D12 absent. No pressure sores. Reflexes – All upper and lower limbs deep tendon reflexes are exaggerated. Sitting balance was fair. No sensation or control in bladder and bowel.