In the past, spinal cord injury often meant a life spent immobilized with little chance for interaction with or participation in the outside world. Fortunately, recent advancements in medical and rehabilitation technology have allowed people with spinal cord injuries to lead fulfilling lives and resume active roles in their families and communities, and, in some cases, their careers.
At MedStar NRH, we focus on the whole person, helping patients reach the highest level of health and independence possible. Patients in our Spinal Cord Program benefit from our role as a teaching facility and our active research programs—and the most advanced rehabilitation interventions available. In addition, the Spinal Cord Program at MedStar NRH is fully accredited by CARF—the international accrediting organization for rehabilitation facilities.
- The program offers the full scope of rehabilitative services delivered by a dedicated cadre of specially trained physicians, nurses and therapists.
- Individualized plans of care focus on the patient's quality of life and ability to participate in meaningful activities.
- Our inpatient care team puts an emphasis on the prevention of primary and secondary conditions and on the management of urologic, spasticity, pain and skin issues is also addressed.
- During inpatient care, physical and occupational therapists focus on helping patients obtain a high level of physical independence through the use of adaptive techniques and exercise, as well as functional mobility training.
- Social workers help patients negotiate services offered through community agencies, and assist them with housing, benefits, transportation and advocacy issues.
- Extensive education is also provided to the patient, the patient's family and significant others.
- Advanced technology such the Ekso™ Exoskeleton, Lokomat® and ZeroG™ robotic therapy devices are used to build strength and coordination as part of an individualized plan of care.
- Therapy also includes the use other sophisticated therapeutic equipment, such as the LiteGait®, adaptive treadmills, functional electrical stimulation bikes, standing frames, hi-lo therapy mats, aquatic devices and adapted weight training and sports equipment.
- Community outings help patients learn how to navigate and participate in the community.
- MedStar NRH specialty SCI care also includes education for wheelchair use, driver training, employment and educational counseling and home and worksite evaluations.
- Our SCI Team Members are actively involved in the MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Spinal Cord Injury, examining ways to prevent secondary conditions related to SCI.
- Patient care at NRH is enhanced by the hospital’s very active SCI research program, which helps speed results from “bench to bedside,” as the program adapts and adopts effective new approaches to patient care.
Numbers tell the story—of success, satisfaction, and hundreds of lives restored to health, function and happiness. To learn more about our program outcomes, please click here.
For assistance with getting back to work after your injury or illness, we can help link you with your state vocational rehabilitation agency.
Make an Appointment
For more information about the Spinal Cord Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, please call
- Lorraine Vinci PSYD
Co-Director - Spinal Cord Program
- Pamela Ballard, MD
Attending - Spinal Cord Program
- Suzanne Groah, MD
Director of SCI Research
- Richard Zorowitz, MD
Attending - Outpatient Clinic