While paralysis is common following a serious spinal injury, it seems that many patients may be treated with a new therapy that has already proven to restore walking and standing in a few study volunteers. Researchers at University of Louisville in Kentucky, reporting in New England Journal of Medicine, combined spinal cord epidural stimulation with simultaneous intense treadmill training to allow four previously paralyzed people to stand independently, two of which are now able to walk using a common walker.
The training did take over a year to complete, which required quite a bit of dedication by the patients and the rehab team around them. Nevertheless, the ability to stand on their own and take independent steps is a miracle in itself, let alone the clinical possibilities that are possible once the technique is fine tuned.
One of the patients did fall and suffer a hip fracture during training, but judging by the video below seems pretty enthused by the results.
Here’s a video with the patients and researchers showing off what’s possible: