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Traumas and diseases of the spinal cord and spine

The neurorehabilitation programs for patients with traumas and diseases of the spinal cord and spine aim to achieve maximum restoration of lost functions and even, if complete recovery is impossible, to teach a person to live in new conditions, to restore their belief in themselves, to make them as independent and free as possible in all spheres of their lives.

Spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injury and spinal cord diseasesare mechanical damage to the spine and spinal cord leading to a breakdown of the bony skeleton of the spinal cord (spine) and damage to the spinal cord. The trauma occurs as a result of direct contusion, compression of the spine or intervertebral discs with bone fragments, compression by a hematoma, development of ischemic disorders due to spinal cord edema.

Non-traumatic injuries of the spine and spinal cord can develop as a result of various pathological processes, such as tumors, degenerative and autoimmune diseases.

The main clinical factors that determine the severity of injury or disease include the degree of damage to the spinal cord, the development of sensitivity and muscle disorders (paralysis), bladder and bowel dysfunction, pain syndrome.

Effects

Depending on the level of damage to the spinal cord after trauma or due to the disease, patient may experience:

  • The damage to the spinal cord at different levels of the cervical spine is characterized by the following: Paralysis of the upper and lower extremities, inability to breathe independently, impaired sensitivity, bladder and bowel dysfunction.
  • The damage to the spinal cord below the level of the cervical spine can be characterized by the following: Paralysis of the lower half of the torso, impaired sensitivity related to the level of damage to the spinal cord, bladder and bowel dysfunction.

These disorders can cause various complications:

  • Pneumonia
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Spastic syndrome (Spastica) is a syndrome characterized by abnormal contraction of paralyzed muscles of the limbs leading to stiffness and a complete blockage of movements (contractures) in the joints. Spastic syndrome can often be accompanied with severe pain.
  • Sepsis
  • Behavioral disorders. The person may experience aggression, slow reaction, fearfulness, emotional instability, disorganization.
  • Psychological disorders. Mood swings, depression, irritability, causeless laughter or crying. Depression (a very common problem for people with diseases or traumas of the spine and spinal cord) is often accompanied by loss of appetite, causeless laughter or crying, insomnia, low self-esteem and an increased sense of anxiety.

How to live and what to do?

Dear visitors of our website, during your stay in Germany or in the countries of the European Union, you have certainly seen people in wheelchairs moving through the streets of the cities, visiting restaurants, theaters. You might have noticed that there was no gloom and sadness on their faces and in their behavior. Despite the physical disease, people who have sustained injuries and diseases of the spine and spinal cord, even if they have not completely restored their functions, are fully integrated into life and do not feel deficient in anything.

Early rehabilitation of patients with spine and spinal cord lesions, the main goal of rehabilitation programs is integration of patients into their normal life.

Rehabilitation

The possibility of partial restoration of functions lost due to trauma, even with complete anatomical damage to the spinal cord, has been repeatedly confirmed. The rehabilitation of patients mainly depends on such factors as the level, severity and duration of the injury, the age of the patient, timelytreatment and the rehabilitation program. The main disabling effect caused by the spinal cord injury is impaired motor functions in the form of complete paralysis (tetraparesis) or paralysis of the lower extremities (lower paraparesis), depending on the level of lesion. The rehabilitation of such patients primarily aims to restore patient's motor activity: most patients need various rehabilitation measures (both outpatient and inpatient).

If treatment lacks rehabilitation, both the patient and their loved ones are condemned to a long and painful process of self-treatment, which sometimes can lead to fatal complications. The overall goal of rehabilitation is to improve the patient's ability to live a normal life both in the family and in the community, even with available residual effects of impaired spinal cord function that can be complex and multifaceted.

Even with significant neurological disorders, we help the patient to adapt to their disabilities or to change the patient's living space and conditions in order to make their daily activities easier.

Not less important goals of the rehabilitation program are prevention, diagnosis and treatment of complications and effects of spinal cord injuries, such as various purulent-septic complications (bedsores, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, sepsis), deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolism, spastic syndrome. Each of these complications can lead to the patient’s death.

The early start of rehabilitation can prevent deep disability and return a person to normal life.

Rehabilitation is the process of achieving the optimal level of social adaptation and independence of a person who has sustained traumatic brain injury in the following ways:

  • Learning new skills
  • Re-learning skills and abilities
  • Adaptation to the physical, emotional and social effects of spinal injuries

How we can help:

Using the latest achievements of medicine available in Germany, our interdisciplinary team of doctors, consultants, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, neuropsychologists will achieve the maximum level of recovery after injuries and diseases of the spine and spinal cord.

The rehabilitation aims to provide a person with independence in many areas. The main skills include:

  • Self-care skills, such as feeding, nursing, bathing and dressing
  • Toilet, self-care for bladder
  • Mobility of skills, such as subtle movements, walking or running self-propelled wheelchairs
  • The rehabilitation program may also include a professional assessment, training of drivers and programs aimed at improving both physical and emotional endurance for the patient’s return to work.

We give a clinical example of rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury.

To receive professional consult on the treatment of spinal injuries in Germany
Please call us: +49 228 972 723 35
or write an Email here

Causes of spinal injuries in sports

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Deep brain stimulation can restore mobility after spinal cord injurie

Thanks to a new technique of deep brain stimulation, the researchers were able to restore mobility of paralyzed rats. After an electrical and chemical stimulation of the nerve cells, the animals were able to walk and run independently.

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