Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Spine Center is associated with the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis, providing world-leading rehabilitation services for patients with spinal injuries. After spine surgery, patients receive the initial inpatient rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. Following this, patients are transitioned to the outpatient program at the same facility.
Recovering Movement and Sensation
A unique component of the Spine Center rehabilitation program is Aggressive Physical Rehabilitation. This program is based on a concept that intense physical rehabilitation helps to speed up the return of significant function. The program offers activity-based rehabilitation which uses electrical stimulation together with specialized exercise equipment and biofeedback devices. Aquatic therapy is available as well. Patients are also trained in high-level wheelchair mobility skills and ambulation with orthotic devices.
The Activity-Based Rehabilitation approach is built on the theory that many individuals with spinal cord injuries have the potential to recover some movement and sensation, regardless of how severe or old the injury is. This is a novel approach to rehabilitation that differs from that of conventional rehabilitation programs, which mainly focus on teaching ways to compensate for spinal cord injury.
Long-term rehabilitation medical care for Spine Center patients is provided through a specialty adult and pediatric spinal cord injury clinics. Health issues that are addressed here include:
- pressure ulcers
- autonomic dysreflexia
- bladder dysfunction
- bowel dysfunction
- sexual dysfunction
- annual renal surveillance
- bone health
- musculoskeletal complications
- cardiovascular fitness
In addition, our Wheelchair Seating Clinic offers multidisciplinary assessment for patients with complex wheelchair seating needs. Peer counseling and support groups offer the opportunity to discuss challenges and develop coping strategies for patients and their families.
For a referral to a Washington University neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.