hear about the success in America for Rob Summers a 25 years old who was hit by a car in 2006 and paralysed below the chest He retained some feeling in the area below his injury. As part of a research project at the University of Louisville, he underwent 26 months of locomotor training, a rehabilitative technique in which he was suspended in a harness over a treadmill while therapists moved his legs to make a stepping motion.

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Electrostimulation helps paralysed man move.

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Mr. Summers then had surgery to implant a device with 16 electrodes placed on key parts of the spinal cord. With the device delivering constant electrical stimulation, Mr. Summers has been able to stand up using his own leg muscles while holding on to bars for support. He can remain standing, bearing his own weight for up to four minutes at a stretch, and take steps on a treadmill with assistance, according to the researchers.

"I didn't move a toe for four years," said Mr. Summers. "I stood up on the third day they turned the stimulator on," he said. "There are not enough words to describe how I felt."

This is an amazing result and must give hope to many who have spinal injuries. However, it is unknown whether the stimulation could produce movement in patients whose spinal cords were completely severed.

Patricia Wakeford

Solicitor - Clinical Negligence team

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