Clinical Specialties : Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

Between 8,000 and 10,000 people experience a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year, causing about 250,000 people today to be living with the condition. MRIs have revolutionized SCI diagnosis and treatment, because they allow PM&R physicians to visualize the damage to the spinal cord and can help them diagnose new symptoms that arise.

PM&R physicians have been pioneers in the treatment and management of spinal cord injuries. Typically, the physiatrist is brought in within 24–48 hours after the injury to coordinate any non-surgical treatment and continues as the patient’s primary attending physician.

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in-patient rehabilitation is provided by a comprehensive multidisciplinary team of physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, rehabilitation nurses, and others in our CARF-accredited SCI service at Jackson Memorial Hospital, a 1500 bed Level I trauma hospital. After completion of in-patient rehabilitation, patients with SCI often continue with out-patient therapy and receive life-long out-patient medical care in our SCI clinics. Issues addressed by our physiatrists include management of bladder, bowel, and sexual function, mobility, skin care, equipment prescription, and treatment of potential medical complications such as urinary tract infections. Persons with SCI sometimes develop late complications that require diagnosis by our physicians. Our close association with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis as well as our own clinical research program offers unique opportunities for improving health and wellness as well as for participating in research studies.

Kevin L. Dalal, MD
Assistant Professor

Andrew L. Sherman, MD
Professor and Vice Chair