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Epidural spinal cord stimulation for recovery from spinal cord injury: its place in therapy

Authors Jacques L, Safaee M

Received 21 April 2016

Accepted for publication 19 July 2016

Published 19 September 2016 Volume 2016:4 Pages 63—67

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JN.S61824

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Hongyun Huang


Video abstract presented by Dr Line Jacques.

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Line Jacques, Michael Safaee

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Abstract: This paper is a review of some of the current research focused on using existing epidural spinal cord stimulation technologies in establishing the effectiveness in the recovery of independent standing, ambulation, or intentional movement of spinal cord injury patients. From a clinician’s perspective, the results have been intriguing, from a restorative perspective they are promising, and from a patient’s perspective they are hopeful. The outcomes, although still in the experimental phase, show some proof of theory and support further research. From a high volume university based clinician’s perspective, the resources needed to integrate this type of restorative care into a busy clinical practice are highly challenging without a well-structured and resource rich institutional restorative program. Patient selection is profoundly critical due to the extraordinary resources needed, and the level of motivation required to participate in such an intense and arduous rehabilitation process. Establishing an algorithmic approach to patient selection and treatment will be paramount to effectively utilize scarce resources and optimize outcomes. Further research is warranted, and the development of dedicated technological hardware and software for this therapeutic treatment versus using traditional spinal cord stimulation devices may yield more robust and efficacious outcomes.

Keywords: independent standing, ambulation, intentional movement, recovery, rehabilitation, locomotion

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