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Spinal Cord Injury

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The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Injury to the spinal cord disrupts these messages, causing decreased or total loss of movement, sensation, and function below the level of injury.

Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is trauma from a contusion (bruise), a partial tear, or complete tear (transection) in the cord. Depending on where it happens, an acute spinal cord injury can cause:

  • Muscle weakness, paralysis, or loss of feeling in the trunk (torso), arms, and/or legs
  • Muscle spasticity (tight or rigid muscles)
  • Breathing problems
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs
  • Problems with heart rate and blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Loss of bowel and bladder function
  • Problems with sexual function

Care from one of our physiatrists (physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors) starts in the hospital a day or two after an acute spinal cord injury. Our rehabilitation team will coordinate non-surgical treatment and continue managing care throughout recovery in the hospital, and beyond.

Why Choose UHealth?

Research breakthroughs in spinal cord injuries. You know you’re getting the most up-to-date treatments and care because we’re actively discovering new and better ways to prevent and restore function after spinal cord injury. Our onsite research is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Internationally-recognized Spine Institute in South Florida. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is part of the renowned Spine Institute which means you get care from the most trusted and experienced rehabilitation providers in South Florida.

Multispecialty care with teams built around your condition. Our rehabilitation team works closely with neurologists, neurosurgeons, pulmonologists, urologists, and others to customize your treatment plan. You have access to leading-edge non-surgical and minimally invasive therapies for pain. And, you get a faster diagnosis and better care when we’re all working together for you.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Neurostimulation

    Neurostimulation, also called electrical stimulation, uses low-voltage electricity to stop the nerve impulses that cause pain. Examples include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), applied on the skin over nerve endings, and spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which is inserted under the skin.

  • Interventional spine procedures

    These procedures use image-guided technology to deliver steroids and medications right to the pain source. Selective epidural injections, cervical facet injections, cervical selective nerve blocks, and discograms reduce pain and inflammation in the neck. This treatment is usually prescribed with physical therapy or exercise.

  • Ultrasound-guided injections

    Ultrasound imaging allows doctors to view nerves, bones, tendons, and muscles. Combining this technology with injection therapy means we can deliver medicines to the exact trigger point to relieve pain and inflammation. Steroids and platelet-rich plasma injections are commonly used to treat neuromusculoskeletal pain.

  • Radiofrequency ablation

    Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat from radio waves to damage nerve tissues, disrupting their ability to send pain signals. This is performed on the facet joints in the spine.

  • Spasticity management

    Therapies for spasticity relax muscle tightness and stiffness with medicines. Therapies include targeted botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections for specific muscles, and intrathecal baclofen pumps that deliver medicine to the spinal fluid.


Tests

  • Discography

    During this test, you will receive an injection of saline into your disc(s) under image-guidance, either using CT or fluoroscopy (dynamic X-ray) technology. This is done to provoke any pain and/or abnormal response. It can show abnormal nerve pathways generating pain inside the injured/degenerated disc.

  • Electrodiagnostics

    Electroneurophysiological testing is done with current and electrodes to determine nerve and muscle function/dysfunction and damage. Tests include electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS).

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • CompCare (Comprehensive Behavioral Care)
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Global Health Claims Services
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana HUMx
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care