Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. 3. Rehabilitation Phase After Acute Spinal Cord Injury

Steven C. Kirshblum, Michael M. Priebe, Chester H. Ho, William M. Scelza, Anthony E. Chiodo, Lisa Ann Wuermser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Kirshblum SC, Priebe MM, Ho CH, Scelza WM, Chiodo AE, Wuermser LA. Spinal cord injury medicine. 3. Rehabilitation phase after acute spinal cord injury. This self-directed learning module highlights the rehabilitation aspects of care for people with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). It is part of the chapter on SCI medicine in the Self-Directed Physiatric Education Program for practitioners and trainees in physical medicine and rehabilitation. This article specifically focuses on the formulation of a rehabilitation plan based on functional goals by level of injury. Such a plan includes mobility, activities of daily living, equipment needs, and adjustment issues after injury. The effect of a concomitant brain injury on rehabilitation is discussed. Medical complications seen in the rehabilitation stage such as autonomic dysreflexia, heterotopic ossification, neurogenic bowel, and orthostasis are addressed. Preparation for discharge is crucial to allow for a smooth transition to home. There have been advances in SCI rehabilitation research including in wheelchair technology, functional electric stimulation, and partial body weight-supported ambulation. Overall Article Objective: To describe outcomes and issues that may arise during the rehabilitation phase after spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S62-S70
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number3 SUPPL.1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Electric stimulation
  • Gait
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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