Regaining unlimited mobility, including the ability to walk, is a main goal for spinal-cord-injured (SCI) patients. Still, more limited accomplishments — such as bladder and bowel control — would significantly improve quality of life for those lacking them. Conferences and publications have cited such endpoints as under-studied.
In the 1990s, Fred Geisler and I were the designers of the Sygen multi-center trial in acute SCI. Later, we collaborated with Kim Anderson, using the data from that trial to investigate the relation between the ability to walk and bowel and bladder control.
We found that bowel and bladder impairment, representing a serious impact on quality of life, affect a very large portion of the SCI population and are a significant problem, separate from ambulation and needing specifically directed work.
You can download a pdf slide presentation showing the details of our results.