Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Finger pointing to spinal cord injury image on tablet

About Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

For more than a quarter of a century, we’ve treated patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) to help increase independence and quality of life. If you’ve experienced an SCI, you may be faced with rebuilding your life from the ground up. While at times it may seem insurmountable, it doesn’t mean that you should give up hope.

Following injury, we immediately start an intensive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy regimen that is designed to maximize your potential outcome. Spinal cord injuries are often complex and require the highest level of specialized care. Baylor Scott & White Rehab’s team of specially-trained SCI rehabilitation professionals* will provide you with the tools and support you need to restore your independence. Recovering from an SCI is so much more than physical rehabilitation. You have to learn how to adapt to your surroundings and find your new normal. Putting the pieces back together can be hard at times, but our SCI team is experienced at restoring as much function as possible in order to maximize independence.


*Specialty certified therapists and services vary by location.

Your Rehab Team

You are always at the center of what we do. Out team is your team and it consists of doctors, nurses, therapists and other medical professionals who have years of experience working with complex spinal cord injury cases. We treat hundreds of SCI patients each year and our dedicated SCI team is led by board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians specially trained in spinal cord injuries. Our doctors, physical therapists and occupational therapists will encourage you to accomplish everything you can—and perhaps more than you imagined you could.

Finding My New Normal

A motorcycle accident broke Michael Stine's shoulder blade, collar bone, ribs and arm, but it didn't break his spirit. Even after he learned that the lower-body paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury might be permanent, Michael didn't give up. Neither did we. After three and a half months of hard work, Michael was able to do a lot for himself - including driving a van. These days, he returns the favor as a certified mentor for other injured patients.

About The Different Levels of Spinal Cord Injury

Where your injury occurred will have different effects on your body and your ability to regain certain functions. Our SCI physicians will determine your treatment plan and functional expectations based on your level of injury.   

ASIA Impairment Scale

A = Complete: No motor or sensory function is preserved in the sacral segments S4-S5.
B = Incomplete: Sensory but not motor function is preserved below the neurological level and includes the sacral segments S4-S5.
C = Incomplete: Motor function is preserved below the neurological level, and more than half of key muscles below the neurological level have a muscle grade less than 3.
D = Incomplete: Motor function is preserved below the neurological level, and at least half of key muscles below the neurological level have a muscle grade of 3 or more.
E = Normal: motor and sensory function are normal.

Spinal Cord Injury Levels

C1-C3 Limited movement of head and neck; talking very limited/difficult.
C3-C4 Usually maintains head and neck control; those at C4 level may shrug their shoulders; may require a vent to breathe initially.
C5 Head and neck control; can shrug shoulder and has shoulder control; can bend elbows and turn palm.
C6 Movement in head, neck, shoulders, arms and wrists; can shrug shoulders, bend elbows, turn palms up and down and extend wrists.
C7 Movement similar to someone with C6; with added ability to straighten elbows.
C8-T1 Added strength and precision of fingers that result in limited or natural hand function.
T2-T6 Normal motor function in head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers; has increased use of rib and chest muscles, or trunk control.
T 7-T12 Added motor function from increased abdominal control.
L1-L5 Additional return of motor movement in hips and knees.
S1-S5 Depending on level of injury, there are various degrees of return of voluntary bladder, bowel and sexual functions.

Our Continuum of Care

Spinal cord injury patients can benefit from additional services after discharging from inpatient rehab. We offer an extensive continuum of care that features diverse programs designed to help all levels of patients throughout their recovery.

Outpatient Therapy for SCI

Following inpatient rehab for spinal cord injury, most patients need to continue physical and occupational therapy after they discharge. We have more than 90 outpatient therapy clinics across North and Central Texas with licensed therapists ready to help you recover within our Continuum of Care.

Home Health Services for SCI

Home-bound patients may benefit from our Home Health services following inpatient rehab for spinal cord injury. We have a team of dedicated therapists and nurses on call that will come to your home. We cover most of the DFW area.