Spinal Cord Injury

If you or someone you love has undergone a spinal cord injury (SCI), you surely have many questions about the injury or the long term affects of that injury. The following information is provided in an attempt to answer some of those questions. This is not intended to be a complete resource, but an overview of spinal anatomy, the types of fractures and cord syndromes sustained during a spinal cord injury, the surgery that your loved one may undergo, and the degree of recovery and function that one can expect depending on the level of the injury sustained.

To connect with others with spinal cord injury, share your experiences or read what others have to say about spinal cord injury, visit Care Pages

For more information on spinal cord injury, visit the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation website. 

Information on various conditions related to paralysis, such as bowel and bladder care, pain management, sexual health, spasticity, skin care, wheelchair seating, home modifications, sports, travel computer use. as well as information on insurance, MediCare reimbursement, and other topics related to the health care system. Short video programs covering a variety of topics related to paralysis can be accessed via this site. The Paralysis Resource Guide is available for download, as well as links to SCI related information in Spanish, Vietnamese, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. 

Useful links: 

Care Cure Community

The following resources have been provided by the SCVMC Technology Access Program. 

Medline Plus – Spinal Cord Injuries

The Medline website features an interactive tutorial (also available in Spanish) on Spinal Cord injury, as well as links to other websites containing information relevant to SCI such as diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, adjustment, research and clinical trials, bowel, bladder and skin care.

Spinal Cord Injury Information Network - University of Alabama at Birmingham

Information on a variety of issues relevant to SCI including medical, psychosocial, equipment/accessibility,  SCI InfoSheets available for download on selected topics related to SCI including: Locating Information About SCI, Sexual Function, Personal Care Attendants, Wheelchair Selection, Bowel and Bladder Management, Respiratory Issues, Adjust to Injury, and more.                                                                                       

The Secondary Conditions of SCI Health Education Video Series is available at this website for download or to watch in streaming Real Media.

Shepherd Center

This website offers education modules featuring educational topics related to spinal cord injury at two different levels, for both patients/families and healthcare professionals. Topics include Autonomic Dysreflexia, Bowel and Bladder Care, Skin Care, Coping and Adjustment, Sexuality, Special Concerns and Safety Issues.  Many of the modules are available in Spanish.

University of Miami School of Medicine

PoinTIS website provides comprehensive information on spinal cord injury rehabilitation for healthcare providers, patients and families including an interactive tutorial (KIT – Knowledge Based Information Tutorial) covering a variety of SCI related issues. 

The SCI Handbooks for Patients and Providers is an online manual (two levels are available for patients/families, and healthcare providers. These manuals serve as a comprehensive, readily accessible, easily updated electronic resource that can be used by the rehabilitation team, patients and family to support patient care and education.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association Resource Center

The NSCIA’s website includes a separate section with information and resources specifically for individuals who have sustained new or recent spinal cord injuries and their families. Addresses topics such as Basic SCI Information, Selecting a Rehabilitation Center, and Healthcare Benefits and Rights, and research pertinent to those with new injuries.

Craig Hospital

Craig’s website offers 45 online educational brochures related to spinal cord injury appropriate for both healthcare providers and patients/families covering a vast selection of topics including from Bowel and Bladder Problems, Incomplete SCI, Skin Care, Spirituality, Upper Extremity Pain, Interacting with Your Doctor, Understanding Research, Caregiving, and Home Safety.  Printed versions are also available in Spanish and can be requested via e-mail link on the website.

The Miami Project – University of Miami School of Medicine

The Miami Project is a comprehensive SCI research center which focuses on innovative approaches to meeting the challenge of repairing the damaged spinal cord. The Miami Project’s website features n-line paralysis support information including General Information on SCI, Resources for Living with Paralysis, Care and Treatment of SCI, and Frequently Asked Questions. One of the Miami Project’s specialized areas of research is in male fertility following SCI.