Facts and Tips about Spinal Cord Injury

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  • Papyrus scrollThe treatment of spinal cord injury has come a long way since about 1700 BC. An Egyptian papyrus roll from then talks about two severe SCIs. The author suggested the cases were "an ailment not to be treated."
  • In 1543, Vesalius, a physician and teacher, contributed much to our understanding of the spinal cord. He was the first to describe and illustrate this structure. In fact, Vesalius was the first to coin the terms cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral.
  • Prior to World War II, the mortality rate for serious spinal cord injury was high. Many patients died just days following injury. A life wheelchair-bound was considered a good outcome. Medical advances in emergency medicine and rehabilitation have changed all that and have significantly improved lives.
  • It is rare for injury to cause severing of the spinal cord. Spinal cord compression or bruising is enough to cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
  • According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, "85% of SCI patients who survive the first 24 hours are still alive 10 years later." The most common cause of death is pneumonia followed by heart disease1.
Updated on: 09/14/15
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Drugs and Medications for Spinal Cord Injury
Edward C. Benzel, MD
This article was reviewed by Edward C. Benzel, MD.
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Drugs and Medications for Spinal Cord Injury

Drugs and medications may be used to treat spinal cord injury. Different medications are used for the primary injury and for the secondary conditions that can develop. What you're prescribed depends on your symptoms and specific injury.
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