Paralyzed Patients Walk Again with Help from ‘Bionic’ Suit

By Peter DePaolis

A 26-year-old man was in an ATV accident two years ago that left him with a severed spinal cord. Surgeons assumed he would never walk again.

A special ‘bionic’ suit, however, is changing the game; he is now able to push his hips and legs forward using a motorized body suit called “ReWalk.” The system uses computers and motion sensors to help him move, while upper body support is provided by forearm crutches.

The ReWalk system, developed by a company in Israel called Argo Medical Technologies, is not the only method raising hopes in patients with spinal cord injuries. Another team is attempting to implant electrical stimulators on patients’ nerve endings. They hope to retrain the spinal nerves to learn how to work with the brain again.

Though this approach has shown incredible results, it is far from perfect. The method has occasionally resulted in terrible damage to patients’ nerves and muscles.

Almost 300,000 people in the United States live with spinal cord injuries, with over 80 percent being men. Nearly half of those injuries occurred to people between age 16 and 30, with car accidents and falls being the most common causes.

While being able to get up at all is a tremendous psychological boost for those who have suffered a spinal cord injury, mobility also has a positive impact on internal organs, digestion and muscle tone. The promise alone of being able to walk again is frequently enough to motivate many paralyzed patients.

As Washington, D.C. injury attorney William Lightfoot explains, if you suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, an act of violence or any other event that was someone else’s fault, you should contact an injury lawyer to help you. The spinal cord treatments following such an accident can be expensive and you may be looking at a lengthy recovery process.

If you would like to bring an action against the person responsible for your injures, contact our office. We can help you recover compensation during this painful period.

Koonz’s Did You Know: The average annual expenses for a spinal cord injury victim in the first year range from $228,566 to $775,567.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.