Epidural Stimulation applies a continuous electrical current to specific locations on the posterior structures of the lumbar spinal cord. The surgically implanted device sits over the spinal cord protective coating, where it is able to stimulate locomotor-like activity. Epidural Stimulation can be offered to patients with both incomplete and complete injuries.
Over an extensive 30-40 days of rehabilitation in our ward the patient and their brain, muscles and nerves ‘learn’ how to consistently create voluntary movements whilst the device is activated. This is a very delicate process and requires a lot of experience by the therapist. We call this process “Mapping”. The more experienced and knowledgeable the Mapping Therapist is, the quicker progress can be achieved and the more gains the patient can get. Equally important is the support after patients departure. We make sure the patient learns how to use the device and its remote on its own, pre-install tailored exercise programs and continue to be available at all times to discuss and implement new programs.
About the Treatment
The breakthrough treatment for spinal cord injury is centered around the epidural stimulation device.
The device activates the para-sympathetic nervous system, which is not the original route via which brain connects with the limbs, so even if the spinal cord is fully injured, there is still an alternative route to connect to the lower parts of the body.
About the Procedure
The safety profile of the procedure is good in that there are many decades of experience in surgically implanting electrical devices( e.g. heart pacemakers or spinal pain management devices) with very few complications.
Once implanted, the patient learns how to control the device and the resulting limb movements.