A clinical perspective of spinal cord injury

Rishi D.S.Nandoe Tewarie, Andres Hurtado, Ronald H.M.A. Bartels, J. André Grotenhuis, Martin Oudega

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in loss of nervous tissue in the spinal cord and consequently loss of motor and sensory function. The impairments are permanent because endogenous repair events fail to restore the damaged axonal circuits that are involved in function. There is no treatment available that restores the injury-induced loss of function. The consequences of SCI are devastating physically and socially. The assessment of functional loss after SCI has been standardized in the larger part of the world. For medical care however there are no standards available. During the early phase, treatments that stabilize the patient's health and attempt to limit further neurological deterioration need to be implemented. During the later phase of SCI, the focus needs to be on prevention and/or treatment of secondary complications such as pain, pressure ulcers, and infections. Neuroprotective, axon growth-promoting and rehabilitative repair approaches are currently being tested but, so far, none of these has emerged as an effective treatment that reverses the consequences of SCI. Promising new repair approaches have emerged from the laboratory during the last years and entered the clinical arena including stem cell transplantation and functional electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Contusion
  • clinical care
  • clinical trials
  • neuroprotection
  • secondary injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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