Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Tom Shives, M.D. and cohost Tracy McCray educate and enlighten audiences every week on the latest news as well as information about exercise, nutrition, prevention and your health. Tune in weekly as hosts and experts from Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Health System bring you health updates in an easy-to-understand, friendly approach.

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Oct 6, 2018

Rehabilitation for Spinal Cord Stimulation Patient: Mayo Clinic Radio

By Margaret Shepard, @Margaret_Marie

A joint research study between Mayo Clinic and UCLA has yielded results, showing that the networks of neurons below a spinal cord injury still can function after paralysis. On the Mayo Clinic Radio podcast, Dr. Kristin Zhao, director of Mayo Clinic’s Assistive and Restorative Technology Laboratory, explains the spinal cord stimulation research from the rehabilitation perspective. Megan Gill, a Mayo Clinic physical therapist, also joins the discussion.


I had a spinal cord stroke in 2010 and spent five years in therapy. I can now walk a short distance using a walker. I can’t go very far without losing my balance, but I can make it from the car to the door of a building. After that, I need to be in a wheelchair because I fall a lot. I have to look at my feet when I use my walker and I mentally urge them to move. I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted in 2013. It was for severe neuropathy and helps a little. I have neuropathic pain 24/7 and use 600 mg of gabapentin every 6 hours. I really miss going to the beach and playing in the waves. I was a scuba diver and I had to give that up too.


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