The spinal cord connects the base of the brain to the body’s nerves, making it an important communication highway between the brain and the rest of the body.
It is surrounded and protected by a bony canal, which is part of the spinal column (also known as the spine or backbone).
A spinal cord injury happens when the spinal column fractures or when the ligaments holding the spinal column together fall out of alignment. As a result, the spinal cord within the bony canal may be bruised or crushed.
This injury interrupts the communication between the brain and the parts of the body below the site or level of injury.
As part of the largest rehabilitation network in western Pennsylvania, the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute offers specialized inpatient and transitional care for a variety of conditions, including: