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Shepherd Center Profile


Treatment at Shepherd Center
Every year in the United States, 11,000 people are diagnosed with spinal cord injury. It's important to get medical treatment and rehabilitation from experts who specialize in this type of catastrophic injury in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Every year in the United States, 11,000 people are diagnosed with spinal cord injury. It's important to get medical treatment and rehabilitation from experts who specialize in this type of catastrophic injury in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

As a patient arrives at Shepherd Center, these things may happen:

  • He/she is placed in the Center's intensive care unit.
  • He/she is assigned a rehabilitation team made up of a physician or physiatrist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, respiratory therapist, recreation therapist, nurse (primary care coordinator), dietician, case manager, counselor, and therapy technician.
  • If necessary, he/she will undergo surgery to stabilize the spine and any other broken bones.

Once the person is stabilized, he or she may move out of the intensive care unit and into a patient room in the hospital. Even during a stay in the ICU, the patient may start a limited therapy program to help him/her get out of bed, increase range of motion in the arms and legs, maintain muscle tone and flexibility and prevent joints from stiffening.

For someone who no longer has feeling or movement below the waist, learning to transfer from a wheelchair to another surface, or even sitting for any length of time, can be very difficult. Therapists help patients with spinal cord injuries rebuild their strength and flexibility and practice the techniques that will allow them to become as independent as possible.
For someone who no longer has feeling or movement below the waist, learning to transfer from a wheelchair to another surface, or even sitting for any length of time, can be very difficult. Therapists help patients with spinal cord injuries rebuild their strength and flexibility and practice the techniques that will allow them to become as independent as possible.

After moving to a patient room, a more intensive rehabilitation regimen begins.