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New technology brightens future of spinal cord injuries

When an unexpected accident befalls someone, few outcomes can have a more debilitating, costly, and permanent impact on a victim's life than a spinal cord injury. Losing the ability to control one's limbs changes a person's very way of life in countless ways. And although medical treatment can help restore some mobility and independence, the experience is difficult, costly, and slow in its progress.

For those Louisiana residents who have sustained a spinal cord injury on account of another's negligence, recklessness, or even intoxication, legal recourse can and should be taken. The opportunity to claim some financial restitution for the medical and personal costs of these injuries should not be passed up. While a victory in court cannot undo the damage done, it can make future living and rehabilitation more feasible

Now, a new technology appears to be on the horizon for spinal injury patients-one designed for the military but seemingly capable of restoring mobility to the everyday American. The Ekso, a ready-to-year battery-powered bionic suit intended to help lift heavy loads may help partially or fully paralyzed victims regain the strength needed to walk again.

Currently being tested by individuals in southern California, the suit has let some regain the use of their legs following a debilitating spinal cord injury. The suit, which costs roughly $150,000 and, along with its specific therapy, is not covered by insurance, may soon be available in-home for patients across the country. Bionic suits of the future will be lighter, easier to get into, and tailor-made for each individual person's needs.

Aside from helping victims move around and regain some of the strength of their old lives, doctors believe the suit may have additional health benefits, such as preventing osteoporosis.

While this technology is currently quite costly and a number of years away from mass use, the Ekso represents a hopeful sign for those who have suffered paralysis on account of a spinal cord injury. For the time being, an attorney versed in personal injury law can help victims build a case for financial restitution, holding responsible those whose poor judgment might have brought about incapacitation and serious health issues.

Source: KABC, "Bionic suit offers spinal cord injury patients help walking," Denise Dador, Dec. 19, 2012

•Victims of spinal cord injuries in the Lake Charles area have resources readily available to them. For more information, contact our Louisiana personal injury law page.

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