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Spinal cord injury rehabilitation
Spinal cord injury rehabilitation
The consequences of spinal cord injury affect nearly every facet of a person's life – physical, emotional and psychological. Patients often need a wide range of specialized treatments, services and education to deal with the changes in their lives.
If you or a family member are recovering from a spinal cord injury you may benefit from . . .
Care navigators and clinical social workers are available to coordinate your care and help you and your family through the rehabilitation process.
Specialty rehabilitation services
Advanced rehabilitation technologies
Sister Kenny's Advanced Rehabilitative Technologies (ART) program at Abbott Northwestern Hospital combines state-of-the-art technologies with clinical expertise.
Sophisticated robotics and computer systems are used to help patients strengthen muscles, restore the ability to walk, improve balance and increase flexibility. These services can reduce care costs, shorten hospital stays, and help people return to their daily routines faster.
- Partial weight bearing gait therapy helps people with incomplete spinal cord injuries experience walking. Patients are supported in an upright position to exercise muscles and increase range of motion in a safe environment free from falls.
- A standing frame helps people with spinal cord injuries bear their own body weight while standing. With assistance from a therapist and the use of a standing frame, patients with weak or paralyzed muscles are able to stand to improve circulation, help prevent pressure sores and decrease spasms.
The Wasie Therapeutic Swimming Pool complements the care and treatment of patients at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Sister Kenny who are dealing with acute or chronic injuries or conditions like spinal cord injury. With the help of a therapist, patients are able to move and exercise in a non-weight-bearing environment.
The Sister Kenny Driving Fitness program evaluates the visual, physical and thinking abilities of patients with spinal cord injuries.
An occupational therapist will help determine whether you can continue to drive safely. A driving simulator helps patients become more aware of any visual, motor and cognitive challenges they have that may make it difficult to drive safely.
Improving muscle strength through assistive technology
- The Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Cycling Program helps people with spinal cord injury get aerobic exercise. It can reduce muscle spasms and increase circulation. It also helps build muscle mass and improve cardiovascular endurance.
- Interactive rehabilitation using Nintendo® Wii is used to help people recovering from spinal cord injury improve strength and endurance. Patients interact within a virtual environment to catch or kick balls, duck to escape danger, or move to avoid an obstacle.
- The Lokomat® treadmill is a robot-assisted device that supports patients in an upright position. Patients are able to move their legs through a normal walking pattern – even if they are unable to move on their own.
- The Spasticity Management Program helps patients with spinal cord injury work to increase range of motion. The program may also strengthen muscles affected by spasticity (involuntary muscle movement).
- Biorehab with Electromyography (EMG) biofeedback can help people with spinal cord injuries re-educate their impaired muscles. Electrical impulses from muscle contractions allow patients to interact with a computer game.
Wheelchair Seating Clinic
Sister Kenny Wheelchair Seating Clinic helps patients and their families choose an appropriate wheelchair and seating cushion.
Experienced therapists use the latest technology to decide what each patient needs and recommend a product depending on skin integrity, range of motion, spine alignment and other health issues.