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Spinal cord injury victims may benefit from new surgery

Spinal cord injuries can prevent a person in West Virginia from being able to walk or move his or her hands and arms. However, a new surgery may restore a paralyzed person's ability to walk following the accident that caused his or her spinal cord injury. What makes this surgery stand out in the field of science is that it involves cells that are responsible for helping people to smell.

One man involved in a recent study had been stabbed years ago and was paralyzed as a result. He underwent this surgery, which involved placing olfactory cells in his spinal cord. This surgery has enabled him to start walking once again. The study may provide hopeful news for the thousands of individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries every year.

Spinal cord injuries usually occur as a result of car crashes or sports accidents. No treatment has been approved to repair these types of injuries yet. Scientists hope that the recent surgery can be developed in such a way that it may be used worldwide. It may be years before this type of treatment is used on a wide scale.

A person may naturally feel powerless when his or her ability to walk is snatched away in an accident. He or she, however, reserves the right to file a personal injury claim against any other party who is believed to have caused the paralysis-causing spinal cord injury. If there is evidence that another person's negligence caused one's spinal cord injuries, the victim may be entitled to the reimbursement of monetary damages caused by the accident. This can help the patient to pay for any treatment needed to address his or her condition in West Virginia.

Source: businessweek.com, "Paralyzed Man Walks After Cells for Smelling Placed in Spine", David Wainer, Oct. 21, 2014

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