Patients who have recently undergone spinal surgery may benefit from injections of botox, an expert has claimed.
According to Dr Christopher Smith, assistant professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, botox could help to prevent bladder over-activity, a condition that is often experienced by patients with a spinal cord injury.
Spinal patients often develop 'sphincter dyssynergia', which causes a lack of coordination between the bladder and the urethral sphincter when a person goes to the toilet.
Dr Smith explained: "The bladder and the sphincter need to act in a coordinated fashion.
"The sphincter muscle should relax when the bladder contracts so that urine can flow normally through the lower urinary tract."
In the worst cases, a patient can suffer permanent kidney damage, as the lack of coordination can impair the drainage of urine from the kidneys.
Dr Smith is hopeful that injecting botox into the urethral sphincter after spinal surgery may prevent the condition from developing.
He said: "We have never looked at using botox early after spinal cord injury. If we find that bladder over-activity is driven by sphincter dysfunction, we can use botox to reduce complication."