Athletic accidents can sometimes lead to serious spinal cord injuries. This can be seen in a recent accident that occurred to a gymnast in Florida. However, this incident also demonstrates a medical procedure that may bring hope to some spinal cord injury victims.
The accident involved a 20-year-old gymnast. Two weeks ago, the young man was practicing at a gym in Miami-Dade County in Florida. During this practice, the man attempted to perform a double flip and landed on his head.
This accident caused the man to suffer a bilateral dislocation of two of his vertebrae. Initially, doctors were worried that he might never be able to walk again.
The man received a relatively new form of treatment in addition to undergoing surgery to repair the dislocation. The procedure is called hypothermic treatment. This treatment involved bringing the man’s body temperature down. The cooling was done to reduce the occurrence of inflammation and swelling, both of which can cause additional damage to the spine. The man’s body remained cooled for 48 hours after the injury.
The results of the treatment were quite remarkable. Not only has the man regained the ability to walk since the surgery, but it is also anticipated that he will be able to continue performing gymnastics without having to undergo any rehabilitation. Thus, this story appears to have had a very happy ending.
This accident demonstrates a couple of things. First, it shows how athletic activities like gymnastics can in some unfortunate circumstances lead to spinal cord injuries. Thus, efforts need to be taken to make these activities as safe as possible.
However, this incident also demonstrates how new medical procedures have provided some spinal cord injury victims with the possibility of partial and even total recovery. In this case, hypothermic treatment appears to have allowed a gymnast who suffered a potentially life-altering injury to move on with his life rather quickly.
Now, doctors caution that this treatment is not a cure-all. It will not always have the effects seen here and it could expose patients to risks. Also, it is not applicable to all types of spinal cord injuries. However, even if this treatment is imperfect, it is an encouraging illustration of how medical professionals and researchers continue to try to develop ways to reduce the impact of spinal cord injuries.