Some of the worst injuries that an employee in Aurora can receive in a workplace accident are back injuries. Back injuries can be relatively mild, but they can also quickly become permanently disabling because of paralysis and limited mobility. While some injured Colorado workers may have thought that a paralyzing back injury meant adapting to a drastically different way of movement, there has been an advance in medical science that could lead to individuals regaining partial or full movement.
Though the federal Food and Drug Administration has only just approved a phase one clinical trial for a procedure that involves putting an individual’s own Schwann cells into the site of paralysis, many think that this could lead to future Schwann-cell therapies. The cells send electrical signals and come from the peripheral nervous system; they have also shown to work very well with lab animals that had similar spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
In the animals who received Schwann-cell injections, the average improvement was a 70 percent restoration of movement and function. It remains to be seen what will happen to humans who receive similar implants, but many scientists think this could be a good hope for a cure.
While this type of treatment would take a considerable amount of time to develop and market to Denver employees who have received spinal cord injuries, it may one day be a possibility for the many people living on workers’ compensation. Until someone who suffered a back injury in a workplace accident can receive this treatment, however, he or she will likely continue to receive workers’ compensation for his or her horrific accident.
Source: ABC News, “Spinal-Cord Injury Therapy OK’d by FDA Could Lead to Cures,” Susan Donaldson James, July 31, 2012
Please visit our back injuries page for more information about our work with spinal cord injuries.