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Spinal Cord Injury Program

HeidiThe Spinal Cord Injury Program at the Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio provides comprehensive, advanced rehabilitative care and treatment for people with spinal cord injuries. We help these patients and their caregivers develop skills and strategies to move beyond the injury to live productive, independent lives.

Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of movement or sensation. The ability to walk may be affected, as well as breathing, activities of daily living, sexual function, and bowel or bladder control. Every injury is unique and so is its treatment.

The Spinal Cord Injury Program helps you optimize your abilities and independence. Our care team of physicians, therapists and other spinal cord injury rehabilitation specialists develop integrated, intensive programs to improve function and mobility, the ability to perform activities of daily living (dressing, bathing and more), and transfers and mobility.

These programs may include adaptive technologies to help you in your transition back to home, work and the community. From injury to follow-up care, we offer a complete continuum of rehabilitative care, including education and training to address life-long challenges faced by spinal cord-injured patients.

Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation Program

The Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at MVH bridges the gap between your acute care hospitalization and return to home, or the next level of care. You and your caregivers are involved in developing therapeutic goals to address medical, cognitive, physical and psychosocial limitations, and skill levels.

Our programs also consider your unique, cultural needs. Our focus is on maximizing your health and level of activity for a safe return to and participation in the community. At discharge, we help connect you with additional medical treatment, therapy and community resources. Additional rehabilitative services are available through the Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program.

Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury Program Admission Criteria

To be referred to the Inpatient SCI Program a patient must:

  • Want to increase level of functioning
  • Have potential to achieve medical stability
  • Have the ability to improve function with intensive inpatient rehabilitation

Admission to the Inpatient SCI Program is determined through evaluation conducted by our rehabilitation coordinator in consultation with a physiatrist (a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation).

Patients admitted to the program demonstrate need for the following:

  • Medical necessity requiring regular physiatric management
  • Rehabilitative nursing intervention 24 hours per day
  • Participate and exhibit progress in at least three hours of therapy daily

Spinal Cord Injury Follow-Up

Spinal cord injury follow-up at MVH provides life-long follow-up of patients with spinal cord injury and issues related to their injuries. Patients receive follow-up care, including referrals, from the physiatrist as needed. There is also a phone call from a follow-up service at three months and one year.

Certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

The inpatient and outpatient services provided by the Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio’s Spinal Cord Injury Programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Off Site Icon, the most prominent certifying organization for rehab.

Conditions Treated

Spinal Cord Injury Program PeggyThe Spinal Cord Injury Program provides care for people with injuries or diagnoses including:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic or atraumatic paraplegia (paralysis of the lower half of the body, including both legs)
  • Traumatic or atraumatic paraparesis (weakness of the lower limbs)
  • Traumatic or atraumatic tetraplegia (paralysis of the arms, legs and trunk of body)
  • Traumatic or atraumatic tetraparesis (weakness of arms and legs)
  • Central Cord syndrome (weakness of arms greater than legs)
  • Brown Sequard syndrome (weakness of one side of the body)
  • Spinal cord tumors 
  • Spinal cord infarcts (stroke in the spinal cord or arteries that supply it)

We help patients facing challenges related to their conditions, such as:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Mobility
  • Bowel/bladder functioning
  • Cognition (thinking)
  • Eating/swallowing
  • Prosthetic/orthotic equipment
  • Psychological issues
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Safety issues
  • Inpatient medical management
  • Patient/caregiver education
  • Community education
  • Pre-vocational, vocational and avocational interests


Your rehabilitation care may include the following specialized services:

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