Spinal Cord Injury Program

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The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation Program provides a safe, structured, caring environment aimed at maximizing recovery from spinal cord injuries whether the result of traumatic injury, or as the result of illness such as polio, spina bifida, or Friedreich's Ataxia.

Program Focus

The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation Program provides a safe, structured, caring environment aimed at maximizing recovery from spinal cord injuries whether the result of traumatic injury, or as the result of illness such as polio, spina bifida, or Friedreich's Ataxia.

Our goal is provide each patient in the program the opportunity to reach his or her highest level of independent function and return to an active, productive, fulfilling life.

The Team

Program Director: Kevin O’Connor, MD
Our SCI program staff is an interdisciplinary team of experienced and specialized clinicians, including physiatrists and nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, therapeutic recreational specialists, psychologists, vocational counselors, and social workers. The team is up-to-date on the latest advances in spinal cord research.

Family Participation

Family members are encouraged and welcome to participate in the rehabilitation process. The SCI Rehabilitation Program provides support, education, training, and resource referrals when appropriate. Staff members also offer strategies to family members for assisting the patient's progress.

The Process

Comprehensive rehabilitation treatment will involve therapies and activities geared toward attaining skills you need for everyday life. Because of this, the atmosphere of the unit may seem quite different from other hospital units. Patients have more responsibility for directing or performing their own care, which in turn, helps prepare them for independent living.

The SCI Rehabilitation Program is individualized and adjusted to each patient's needs. Patients can receive from three to five hours of individual and group therapy five to six times per week.

Services

The SCI Rehabilitation Program includes the following services:

  • Intensive medical management     
  • Pressure mapping     
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy     
  • Spasticity management     
  • Wound care management     
  • Urologic management     
  • Psychiatric / psychological counseling     
  • Sexuality / fertility counseling     
  • Pain management     
  • Biofeedback     
  • Vocational services     
  • Pre-driving education     
  • Interdisciplinary, educational classes and support groups     
  • Volunteer visitor program     
  • Peer visitor program (National Spinal Cord Injury Association)     
  • Discharge planning     

Clinical Resources

Our resources for SCI patients include:

SCI Ventilator Program:  located on the same floor as the SCI unit, to maximize access. The SCI unit can accommodate up to four ventilator-dependent patients.

Dr. Charles H. Weingarten Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program:  helps enhance self-confidence and self-sufficiency, as well as improving balance, muscle strength, and coordination.

Brace Clinic: provides a multidisciplinary assessment of bracing needs, and fits SCI patients for prefabricated and custom-made braces and orthotics.

Assistive Technology Center:  helps individuals find technology solutions for mobility, communications, or cognitive-memory issues.

Wheelchair Clinic:  fits patients for wheelchairs or special seating, and provides training.

Electromyography (EMG) Diagnostic Testing: used to assess the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles.

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