Spinal Cord Injury Services

Services and Programs Specific to Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Every patient is unique and our approach to your rehab reflects your lifestyle and functional ability level. These specialty services* are designed to help you during your inpatient rehabilitation as well as after you are discharged.

Our individualized and comprehensive education program is designed to give patients with a spinal cord injury and their loved ones crucial information needed to adapt and recover from their injury. Our SCI-specific classes are known as S.T.A.R.T. classes (SCI Teaching And Reintegration Training). The content for these classes is developed by the SCI multidisciplinary team using the most up-to-date research in spinal cord injury.

We will provide your family or caregiver with proper training and tools to prepare you to successfully return home.

Our wheelchair seating and positioning clinic provides a comprehensive evaluation by an expert therapist to identify the optimal wheelchair and seating system for each individual’s specific needs. Our clinic goal is to maximize function and efficiency with wheelchair mobility by creating a custom wheelchair using information about strength, posture, balance, skin/pressure issues, pain, range of motion and tone to guide the selection and configuration of the appropriate wheelchair base and components.

We provide aquatic therapy to our patients while they are undergoing SCI rehabilitation to help with spasticity management, improve cardiovascular endurance, general strengthening, improve flexibility, reduce pain and to allow early weight bearing to assist with improving functional recovery. Our pools are accessible for people of all ages, injury types and levels of injury.

Prefabricated and custom splinting and/or orthotics are used to address a variety positioning needs and facilitate the success of our patients. Our knowledgeable therapy staff are trained in custom upper and lower extremity splinting and casting, allowing us to prevent further complications from poor positioning. This will help to improve your range of motion and use of your extremities. Long standing relationships with local vendors allows us to provide in-house fittings to initiate the custom orthotic process. Assisting with custom positioning devices is another way we help you meet your physical recovery and rehabilitation goals.

To better support our SCI patients, we've partnered with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's Peer & Family Support Program. This program is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living or caring for individuals with paralysis. We provide individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers a connection for hope, support and a way of moving forward with life. Individual peer visits and group sessions are provided to patients in rehab. Even after discharge from the hospital, the program provides ongoing support to navigate challenges when integrating back home and into the community.

Community reintegration outings are organized by a certified therapeutic recreation specialist and implemented as a multidisciplinary treatment along with occupational and physical therapists. These outings help patients build confidence in real life settings where they apply physical mobility and functional skills outside of the hospital setting in preparation for discharge.

Support. Challenge. Inspire. (S.C.I.) is a community outreach support program for individuals with spinal cord injury that covers a range of topics from returning to work and school, traveling, health awareness, recreational activities and much more. The group is open to anyone, including friends and family, impacted by spinal cord injury. The support group meets monthly, with community members, family, current patients and treatment team members in attendance.

The adaptive technology program strives to increase patient knowledge of consumer-based environmental aids. These devices can improve independence in daily living and provide access to common communications tool like cell phones, tablets and computers. Following a traumatic injury, many people desire to return to previous work and social roles. This program is currently led by a skilled occupational therapist that works closely with the patient's primary therapy team to accomplish these goals. Individualized plans are developed in which patients may be referred to a rehabilitation engineer for more extensive evaluation and education.

Collaborative recreational and adaptive sports are an important part of reintegrating into the community. RISE Adaptive Sports is a nonprofit charitable organization that assists persons with physical changes to recover, inspire, succeed and empower themselves and others by providing inclusive adaptive recreational sports programs. We collaborate with RISE to provide adaptive community events, as well as adaptive sports education and hands on experience for patients and family members to participate in. Some of the adaptive sports offered by RISE include: basketball, boating, fishing, hand cycling, quad rugby, hunting, indoor soccer, kayaking, parasailing, power soccer and water skiing. Adaptive Sports Expos are provided as needed at support group events to provide education on a wide selection of adaptive sports programs in the community.

We have a full-time facility service dog named Orbit that engages with patients during therapy treatments. Orbit is an ambassador for Canine Companions for Independence, showing patients how a service dog could help them have more independence and a greater quality of life. We have several other animals and dogs that stop by for animal-assisted therapy primarily for emotional support, although physical benefits can result by boosting morale for physical therapy and self-care tasks. The animal-assisted therapy dogs can be utilized by therapists in individual treatments to not only boost participation, but to work on goals that the patient and therapist have developed.

We offer an after-hours adaptive fitness and aquatics programs that provides you an opportunity to maintain a healthy lifestyle after you are discharged. We provide access to our pool, gym, equipment, and technologies to maintain and/or improve fitness levels and optimizing function.


*Specialty services vary by inpatient location. The services listed above are available at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation - Dallas.