Membrane disruption and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are important factors causing immediate functional loss, progressive degeneration, and death in neurons and their processes after traumatic spinal cord injury. Using an in vitro guinea pig spinal cord injury model, we have shown that polyethylene glycol (PEG), a hydrophilic polymer, can significantly accelerate and enhance the membrane resealing process to restore membrane integrity following controlled compression. As a result of PEG treatment, injury-induced ROS elevation and lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels were significantly suppressed. We further show that PEG is not an effective free radical scavenger nor does it have the ability to suppress xanthine oxidase, a key enzyme in generating superoxide. These observations suggest that it is the PEG-mediated membrane repair that leads to ROS and LPO inhibition. Furthermore, our data also imply an important causal effect of membrane disruption in generating ROS in spinal cord injury, suggesting membrane repair to be an effective target in reducing ROS genesis.