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Paralysis can result from injuries to nerves, the spinal cord or the brain. 

Physicians at UC San Diego Health System are dedicated to improving function and mobility for individuals living with paralysis.


We conduct basic and clinical research to better understand causes and advance new treatments for paralysis. Scientists in this field include:

"Paralyzed Limbs Regain Movement with Unique Surgery," KPBS Evening Edition, Feb. 2013

bullet New Surgical Technique May Reverse Paralysis
bullet Brian's Breakthrough: Repairing Paralyzed Nerves

Nerve-Related Paralysis

Common nerve injuries that can result in weakness or paralysis include:
  • Spinal disorders where a nerve root is compressed.  
  • Compression of the peroneal nerve at the knee can lead to foot drop.
  • Compression of the radial nerve in the arm can lead to wrist drop.

Trauma can result in the severing of major nerves. Severing of any nerve can result in numbness and paralysis. When these injuries are addressed in a timely manner, the nerves can be reconstructed to restore movement and sensation.

bullet Injuries to Facial Nerves

bullet Brachial Plexus Injuries

bullet Spinal Cord-Related Paralysis

Accidents, infections and rare diseases can injure the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries often result in severe paralysis that affects an individual's ability to stand or walk, or even move their hands. Nerve and tendon transfers are important methods for recovering movement in the limbs and hands after spinal cord injuries.

bullet Spinal Cord Injuries

Brain-Related Paralysis

Strokes, brain tumors, birth defects, head trauma and other sources of brain injury can leave a patient unable to move one side of their body. The face may droop, the arm may be spastic and walking may become very difficult. 

Physicians at UC San Diego have expertise in correcting facial nerve disorders, improving hand function and enhancing walking abilities in patients with these disorders.