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“I was leaving the hospital, and was moving my arm more after my stroke, but was nowhere near 100%…  I wondered if this was going to be permanent…”

Acute, inpatient treatment by neuroscience specialists for a debilitating disease like stroke, head bleed, or traumatic injury is only half the battle.  Studies have shown there is a crucial period after hospitalization where aggressive physical therapy and rehabilitation can make the difference between living with permanent deficits, or recovering function.  While not every patient can recover from a disabling injury, our goal at the LCMC Health Neuroscience Institute is to give each person the best, state-of-the-art, evidence-based care to maximize their potential for improvement.

Why LCMC Health Neuroscience Institute Rehabilitation?

“It sounded like going to boot camp, but it meant being able to move myself instead of being moved…”

Our Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team helps patients disabled from brain and spine injury through targeted inpatient rehabilitation therapy, typically three hours per day, five days per week. Our goal is to improve physical function and facilitate a safe transition home through intense therapy that will make patients stronger, safer, and improve overall endurance.

We are the only Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities accredited inpatient rehabilitation program on the Westbank specializing in general rehab, stroke, traumatic and non-traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputation, cardiac and respiratory conditions.  We are also the only rehabilitation program to offer intrathecal baclofen and intramuscular botulinum toxin (Botox) spasticity treatment for abnormal muscle tightness from prolonged muscle contractions frequently experienced in brain, spinal cord, and neurological conditions.

Our Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team patient experience is what sets us apart

When patients choose their rehabilitation care at West Jefferson Medical Center, all services and healthcare providers are immediately available to optimize recovery. Any imaging, testing, or labs fall under one roof, which means you’ll never be transferred out to another hospital for these services. We are deeply proud of our outstanding, committed staff who go above and beyond to make sure every patient gets the rehab they need, even when that means after-hours care, or working with your insurance company to find the most cost-effective treatment options for your situation.

Our comprehensive team approach includes rehabilitation doctors, physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), speech therapists (ST), certified rehabilitation nurses, and social workers who are dedicated to extraordinary patient care. We also provide equipment evaluation to make everyday activities easier and safer. We also provide home evaluation and family training to facilitate a safe and successful transition to daily living.

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

“After the accident, I worried about being able to do anything at all…”

Your spinal cord runs from your brain down to your lower back. Your brain sends messages out to your body through your spinal cord which move your body parts to pick up a cup or walk to the mailbox. Messages travel from your arms, legs, and the rest of your body back to your brain through your spinal cord which convey sensations of touch, temperature, or pain.

A spinal cord injury can prevent your brain and body from communicating normally. If you’ve had a spinal cord injury, you may need surgery or other treatments to help stabilize your spinal injury.

After a spinal injury and stabilization, you may be at risk for complications, including:

  • Pressure injuries
  • Breathing problems and pneumonia
  • A drop in blood pressure when you move around
  • Muscle weakness and muscle spasm
  • Blood clots
  • A hard time moving joints
  • Pain
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Reproductive and sexual function problems
  • Depression and/or Anxiety

Rehabilitation can help to improve these complications, as well as regain function that the injury took away. The tasks you’ll work on in rehabilitation depend on the type of injury that occurred. You may need to re-learn things such as how to control your body, use a wheelchair / walker, or work around functional deficits.

What happens during rehab for a spinal cord injury?

Your rehabilitation providers will discuss what to expect in recovery over the short-term, and long-term. Your individual results will depend on the type, and severity, of injury and how much strength you have below the level of the injury. While in rehab, your providers may help you with tasks, such as:

  • Moving around – Depending on your injury, you may be able to walk with a cane, walker, braces, or you may require a wheelchair. You will learn to best use these mobility devices.
  • Dealing with complications – If your injury caused many changes in the way your body works, your rehab providers will teach you how to prevent and treat complications. You may need a specialist to treat complications if your bowel and bladder function is not normal.
  • Doing things in a different way – Your providers may teach you how to get in and out of a car, roll over in bed, bathe, and do other daily activities that allow you to be more independent.

Individual therapists may work with you on specific tasks, including activities of daily living like eating, dressing, and grooming.  In some cases, occupational therapy may help you with job-related skills.

Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Your rehab specialists may help assess your home to see if it’s safe and accessible for you. They will determine whether you will be able to easily navigate around your home, or if safety improvements are necessary. You may need special devices and equipment around your home to make your day to day activities as simple as they were prior to your injury. Your rehab team will also assist you in arranging help from family, friends, or care providers to help you with your day-to-day needs. They will also educate your care providers about how to safely meet your mobility and healthcare needs at home.

Rehabilitation After Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden injury causes damage to your brain. A “closed head injury” may cause brain damage if something hits your head hard but doesn’t break through your skull. A “penetrating head injury” occurs when an object breaks through your skull and enters your brain.
Rehab can help:

  • Improve your ability to function at home and in your community
  • Help treat the mental and physical problems caused by TBI
  • Provide social and emotional support
  • Help you adapt to changes as they occur during your recovery
  • Rehab can also help prevent complications of TBI such as:
  • Blood clots
  • Pain
  • Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores
  • Breathing problems and pneumonia
  • A drop in blood pressure when you move around
  • Muscle weakness and muscle spasm
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Reproductive and sexual function problems

If you have had a TBI, rehabilitation (or rehab) will be an important part of your recovery. Rehab can take many forms depending on your needs. It might include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as psychiatric care and social support. All these are designed to help you recover from the effects of your injury as much as possible.
Symptoms that may occur after TBI may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and/or confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration and/or memory problems
  • Personality changes
  • Weakness in muscles

Rehabilitation made simple, so you can focus on recovery, not logistics

Every person’s needs and abilities after a brain or spinal cord injury are different. Having a rehab program designed especially for you involving many types of healthcare providers is critical to your success.

However, many people are already overwhelmed by what is necessary to establish rehabilitation.  This is why it’s important to have a central person you can talk to – your case manager. They will help coordinate your care, assess the available rehab programs, and determine the rehab coverage offered by your health insurance company.  They will work with you and your family for placement into the optimal rehabilitation program.