Magee Rehabilitation offers one of the nation's leading rehabilitation programs for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI). With more than 4,000 SCI patients in its system, Magee has the clinical experience and the unique peer resources that no other Greater Philadelphia, PA rehabilitation program can offer.
Magee was one of the initial members of the NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) when it launched in 2004 through a cooperative agreement between the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NRN is a network of specialized rehabilitation centers developing and providing standardized activity-based rehabilitation therapy to individuals with spinal cord injuries, based on the best scientific and clinical evidence available. Presently, the NRN is deploying Locomotor Training (LT).
Scott Age: 17 Date of Injury: Feb 2007 Type of Injury: incomplete paraplegia (T4 ASIA C) Mechanism of Injury: Spinal Stroke
Initial Status: Before starting LT, Scott used a manual wheelchair to get around his home and community. While he could transfer in and out of his wheelchair by himself, he was unable to stand on his own or walk with an assistive device. Because of his injury, he had decided to finish his sophomore year of high school by being home-schooled.
Goals: Scott had three main goals when he started therapy: 1. To wean off all of his medications 2. To be able to walk as well as possible 3. To be able to return to school walking
Treatment: Scott participated in 70 sessions of LT at Magee. To work on meeting his goals, Scott followed a medication weaning schedule set by an NRN physician at Magee. During the body weight-supported (BWS) training, Scott and his therapists worked on getting the best stepping pattern possible, as well as practiced standing with good posture. His therapy off of the treadmill focused on improving his balance in standing, and gait training with different assistive devices.
Outcomes: Scott was able to wean off all of his anti-spasticity and pain medications. After 3 months of training, he was able to return to school walking with forearm crutches. After another 2 months of training, he switched to using 2 canes. Now, Scott uses the canes only when walking outdoors, and walks without an assistive device when he's in his home.
Bill Age: 64 Date of Injury: March 2007 Type of Injury: incomplete tetraplegia (C5 ASIA D) Mechanism of Injury: Fall on ice
Initial Status: Before starting LT, Bill used a power wheelchair to move around in his home. He was unable to move his arms, and needed help with dressing, feeding, and even scratching his nose. He needed to use a Hoyer lift to get in and out of his wheelchair and hospital bed. He was unable to stand or walk on his own. Bill required 24 hour nursing care, as he had many blood pressure issues, and required a feeding tube and a catheter for bladder control.
Goals: Bill's main goals were to be able to walk, and be more independent. He also wanted to return to his favorite hobby—gambling in Atlantic City!
Treatment: Bill participated in 100 LT sessions over a 9-month period at Magee. During the BWS training, Bill and his therapists worked on improving his ability to balance in standing, and increase his endurance and independence with walking. His therapy off of the treadmill included balance and posture training in sitting and standing, stretching, leg strengthening exercises, and gait training with a variety of assistive devices.
Outcomes: After 2 months of LT, Bill's blood pressure issues stabilized and he was able to get his feeding tube removed. He was also able to transfer in and out of his wheelchair without the use of a Hoyer lift. A couple of months later, he was able to get rid of his urinary catheter. Within 4 months of training, Bill was able to walk with a rolling walker. He eventually transitioned to walking with crutches, and then, with canes. Over the 9 months of training, Bill regained his ability to keep his balance in standing, and regained movement in his arms as well. By the time he was discharged, Bill could walk up stairs to his bedroom, walk outside and into his in-ground pool, and walk around his neighborhood with the use of 2 canes. In his home, Bill can walk without the use of any assistive devices. Now that he is able to get in and out of a car easily, Bill can travel to Atlantic City with his wife for a night out on the town.
Heather Age: 22 Date of Injury: August 2006 Mechanism of Injury: Diving
Initial Status: When she first started LT at Magee, Heather could only move her right leg, and had limited movement in her arms. She needed help to push a manual wheelchair, to transfer in and out of her wheelchair, and to move around in bed. She was unable to stand or walk. She also had to use a catheter for bladder control. At this time, Heather was pretty depressed, and had to put off plans to attend college in the fall.
Goals: Heather's goals were to "get back to my old self," as well as to walk again.
Treatment: Heather participated in about 80 sessions of LT at Magee. Her focus while training on the BWS system was to improve her standing balance, and to get as good a walking pattern as possible, with the help of her therapists. When off of the treadmill, Heather practiced walking with different assistive devices, and spent a lot of time working on standing, as well as strengthening her abdominals.
Outcomes: Over the 7 months of training at Magee, Heather regained movement in both of her arms and her left leg, and improved her strength in her right leg. When she was discharged, Heather was able to walk independently with 2 canes in and out of her home, and could climb stairs by herself. She was able to return to driving a car, and started working out at a gym. Her mood improved, and she returned to her old "fun-loving self." Heather plans to return to school to study nuclear medicine.