Spinal-Injury.net :  Rehabilitation

  Rehabilitation Guide
Rehabilitation following a spinal cord lesion will be a unique experience for everyone.  A lot is dependant on the level and type of cord damage.  Access to a specialist spinal injury treatment centre isn't always available to everyone either, factors including cost, potential for recovery etc unfortunately play there part here too.  However with all injuries there will be a long period of post injury rehabilitation.  As a guide a Paraplegic injury will usually be hospitalised for between 3 to 6 months post injury.  A Tetraplegic or Quadriplegic injury by its nature normally requires between 6 months to a year.  This is without additional injuries or complications.

Rehabilitation at specialist spinal injury units is provided by a team of different health professionals all expert in their own particular field.  Each case is dealt with on its merits and a care plan decided accordingly.  The goals determined for each individual will vary.  What can be achieved functionally will be very dependant on the level of injury and whether it is Complete  or Incomplete too.

Health Professionals
Consultants / Doctors - Decide on overall treatment of spinal cord lesion. I.E. whether to operate to repair broken bones or to allow healing naturally often called 'bed rest' They will also treat complications if and when they arise too.

Nursing Staff
- Normally a named nurse is in charge of the nursing care plan for each patient
Physiotherapists - Responsible for physical exercises , passive at first to maintain range of movement and good circulation and then later in the gym to maximise functional return

Occupational Therapists - Responsible with using any functional return in day to day living.  Dressing, washing and other personal care tasks.  Also experts in assessing the individual for the appropriate wheelchair and household assistive aids.

Social Workers - Emotional support and deal with housing, financial and other matters too

Other subject matter which is is relevant to every spinal cord injury regardless of the level is also covered in the rehabilitatin phase of spinal cord injury.  This is often referred to as 'Patient Education. This includes such things as:

*Sexuality and fertility
*Adapting your home so that you can live in it, or in some cases seeking appropriate new housing
*Aids & equipment
*Benefits and money matters
*Access to education, employment, hobbies
*Arranging your ‘care package’ from local providers for when  you leave hospital
*Goal planning and education

If you are to regain your independence, you need a good deal of information about  the nature of your injury, how to look after your body.  A major part of the rehabilitating process involves planning goals for yourself, this is done in conjunction  with your care team of health professionals 

Rehabilitation Functional Goals - Treatment - Spinal Injury

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Spinal-Injury.net :  Rehabilitation



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