A new spinal implant developed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic and UC Los Angeles is allowing one man to walk again after a severe snowmobile accident left him partially paralyzed four years ago.
Surgeons implanted the electrode below 29-year-old Jered Chinnock's spinal cord injury, which left him without motor control below the middle of his back. After 43 weeks of physical therapy, Chinook can now walk about the length of a football field with the help of a walker.
A separate study conducted at the University of Louisville reported similar results for patients who also received an electrode implant, which sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord.
Researchers say the next stage of their work will focus on understanding why electrically stimulating the spinal cord allows the brain to regain control of the legs.