04282017Headline:

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Ellen Klepac
Ellen Klepac
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Teamwork enables spinal cord injury victims to walk

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As we’ve reported in previous posts, teamwork among medical staff is imperative to patient recovery. Eleven studies published last month in Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation showed that the same holds true for spinal cord injury victims’ recovery.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) – a collection of spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers across the country – credits its ability to help patients regain lost physical function and overall health and well-being to its standardization of rehabilitation practices. Research findings are turned into training activities that can be employed in the same way at each of the centers. The rehabilitation each patient undergoes is also evaluated by the same standards across all centers. Teams of contributors to this training are made up of “scientists, physicians, physical and occupational therapists, and hospital administrators,” according to a news release. That way, multiple points of view are taken into account in creating the most effective practices.

"For the first time, conclusive evidence has proven that standardized rehabilitation across multiple centers can result in positive patient recovery,” said Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Executive Vice President of Research Susan Howley. “Policies are needed to ensure that access to these centers is provided to all patients living with spinal cord injury and that new sites are continuously added to the NeuroRecovery Network.”

Over a million people in the U.S. are paralyzed due to spinal cord injury, the NRN’s press release stated. The network’s rehabilitation helps both newly injured people as well as those who’ve been paralyzed for years.

“Thanks to the progress the Reeve Foundation has made possible, NRN patients living with spinal cord injury are regaining motion, improving their balance as well as bowel, bladder and sexual function,” the news release stated.

To learn more about the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network, please click here.