There are few more devastating injuries that afflict man than those associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). The economic, psychological, and social impact are encompassing and enormous to the individual and society. During the last several years, there has been a renewed interest in the study of SCI, with the hope of finding a cure. It is appropriate, then, to examine the efforts accomplished throughout medical history. With this retrospective view, potential avenues for future treatment become more apparent and clear. As in the past, the integration of basic science and clinical innovation will create the path toward progress for treatment of this disease.