Successful operation in China – level 3
Doctors in China performed the world’s first spinal cord surgery on a paralysed patient using regenerative medical technology.
The patient had injured his spinal cord in a traffic accident two months ago and remained bedridden since. His surgery was conducted in the city of Tianjin on Friday.
Ten years of research and successful experiments on large animals led to the creation of the nerve-regenerative material developed by the Institute of Genetics and Development Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The surgery took four hours and saw doctors from the neurological hospital of the Chinese Armed Police Force planting stem cells on a stent. The operation went smoothly but the effects still need to be monitored.
Five other spinal cord injury patients will receive the surgery in Beijing, Tianjin and Suzu in east China’s Jiangxi Province.
Difficult words: spinal cord (the thick string of nerves in your spine which is the row of bones down the centre of your back), paralysed (to be unable to move), regenerative (able to grow something again), bedridden (always in bed because of the injury), neurological (relating to the brain), stem cells (a special type of cell which can form other types of cells), stent (a strip of hard material which supports a broken bone), smoothly (without a problem), monitor (to watch).
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