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Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury and disease affects an individual’s ability to function independently in all areas of daily living.

Each year, about 12,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries that change their lives forever. Walking, eating, talking — things that were once second nature — may require great effort or even seem impossible.

Your journey to recovery, depending on the severity of your injury, may begin at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute. The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute is an inpatient care facility staffed with top-ranking specialists where you will have access to cutting-edge therapy and rehabilitation methods specifically designed for spinal cord injuries.

Following a stay at the Rehabilitation Institute your therapists and neurologists will assist in the transition to outpatient care at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or UPMC Centers for Rehab Services to continue the recovery process.

Our Continuum of Care

We understand that a spinal cord injury is an “across the lifetime” disability. That’s why we offer a seamless continuum of care for months — even years — after your initial discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.

UPMC offers one of the country’s largest and most comprehensive rehabilitation networks, with more than 90 rehab facilities providing inpatient, outpatient, and long-term services. Our network ensures that you receive the right level of care at the right time.

Outpatient care for spinal cord injuries at UPMC covers a wide variety of services and programs to help patients accomplish their goals, from gaining additional independence to improved strength and mobility.

Examples of specific outpatient rehab services offered include:

  • Adaptive equipment and technology training
  • Home and daily living modifications
  • Pain and spasticity management
  • Wheelchair training
  • Family and patient education and support sessions
  • Functional mobility and physical rehabilitation

Other forms of therapy and rehabilitation are prescribed based on your progress and goals set with your personal care team.

Cutting-Edge Research and Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries

Because we're a nationally designated center of excellence in spinal cord care, we are a test site for the latest treatments.

As a result, we're often involved in research studies relating to:

  • Cutting-edge drugs that minimize the impact of trauma to the spine
  • Interventions meant to improve and repair connections in a damaged spinal cord

Learn more about inpatient spinal cord injury treatment and rehab at UPMC.

Want to learn more about spinal cord injuries?

Discover answers about spinal cord injuries and new spinal cord rehabilitation technologies on UPMC HealthBeat.

Make an Appointment

Call 1-800-533-8762 to make an appointment with a doctor from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.