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Sports Medicine Channel
Reported December 21, 2012

Brian's Breakthrough: Repairing Paralyzed Nerves

SAN DIEGO, Cal. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Your body is made up of 214 major nerves.   Each has an electric pathway that keeps your body feeling and moving.  If one of these dies or is torn apart, it can mean paralysis.  Doctors are replacing and repairing nerves and getting amazing results.

“It was my last jump.  I felt my leg plant and I heard a crack,” damaged nerve patient, Brian Levitt, told Ivanhoe. 

In that moment, Brian Levett thought his budding sports career was over.  No more track.  No more football.

“I was expecting to play in college,” Levett said.

On his last jump, in the last track meet of the season, Brian tore his ACL, his LCL, and damaged a main nerve in his leg.  He couldn’t lift his foot or even walk.

“When he injured his knee he completely lost function of that nerve,” Neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health System, Justin Brown, MD, told Ivanhoe.

Dr.  Brown believed Brian’s nerve was dead.  He was about to replace it with a healthy nerve from Brian’s foot.  It’s a ground-breaking technique that’s helping the paralyzed and stroke patients regain the use of their limbs, but when the doctor got into surgery he discovered Brian’s nerve was not dead.

“His nerve was entrapped in scar tissue and was completely compressed,” Dr. Brown explained.

Millimeter by millimeter, Dr. Brown performed a delicate surgery and freed the nerve from the scar tissue.  Six months later Brian is walking tall as a college freshman.

“Just to know where I’ve made it to now.  I mean it’s truly a blessing,” Levitt said.

Right now Brian is playing intramural basketball and football. He has no plans of playing for his university.  The doctor tells us the nerve surgery he performed on Brian and the one that’s helping people with nerve paralysis.  Must be performed within a year of the injury or the nerve cannot be saved.

More Information

Click here for additional research on Brian's Breakthrough:  Repairing Paralyzed Nerves

Click here for Ivanhoe's full-length interview with Dr. Gerald Lipshutz

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Andrew Mcintosh at amcintosh@ivanhoe.com


 

 

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