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Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries in the United States and Progress in Spinal Cord Regeneration

HRD-78-10 Published: Oct 14, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 1977.
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A study was conducted of spinal cord injury costs in the United States and current research efforts involving spinal cord regeneration. The consequences of a spinal cord injury range from partial paralysis to death. A victim who survives incurs lifetime medical costs that can range between $44,000 to $115,000 depending on the extent of the injury, not to mention the lost earnings and other injury related costs. Advances have been made in diagnosing spinal cord injuries and treating damage to the cord caused by pressure on the spine. However, once the cord's nerve fibers are destroyed, function below the level of the injury is usually lost and no treatment available can regenerate nerve fibers. Regeneration research to date has not been successful in regrowing nerve fibers in humans for numerous reasons. Many Federal agencies are studying the problem with no central direction and are supporting various approaches to solve the problem. In England special centers have been developed to treat spinal cord injuries and the concept has been accepted throughout Europe.

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Health care costsMedical researchProgram managementParalysisDeathsFederal agenciesHuman capital management