At the Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center we believe that every person with a spinal cord injury (SCI) can benefit from a comprehensive program of rehabilitation and recovery. Our goal is to enable every person with SCI to progress as far along the road to recovery as possible, by using the latest scientific advancements in individualized programs to help patients feel healthier, live longer, and improve their quality of life.
The Recovery Center for SCI patients is the only one of its kind in Central Texas. Our patients – including those with paraplegia and quadriplegia – travel from across the nation to access advanced recovery therapies, groundbreaking research and clinical trials, and award-winning community outreach programs thanks to our unique relationship with the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, a group dedicated to finding a cure for SCI.
The centerpiece of the Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center is the Fitness Center, a unique exercise facility designed specifically for spinal cord injured persons with special exercise equipment not available in most commercial gyms. Participants benefit from access to strengthening and weight training, cardiovascular workouts, and stretching/mobility programs. In addition to the exercise programs, participants can work with personal trainers or join in optional educational activities that address health and lifestyle issues.
The Recovery Center has one of the only Bioness ZeroG dynamic gait and balance training systems in all of Texas. Watch as quadriparetic Daniel Curtis shows how he’s using the ZeroG to help regain strength and stability after a C6 injury. We also feature Therapeutic Alliances’ ERGYS 2 Rehabilitation System, which uses computerized functional electrical stimulation to allow people with SCI to actively pedal a stationary leg-cycle ergometer to benefit muscle and the cardiovascular system.
The Recovery Center team of specialists includes physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, certified trainers, and rehabilitative technicians who provide the continuing care often missing in traditional rehabilitation centers. Our programs are open to all persons with SCI regardless of the level or length of time since injury, because we believe in redefining what is possible.
The Seton Brain & Spine Institute, in collaboration with the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, initiated a research study to analyze the effects of sustained cardiovascular exercise for people with SCI. Findings from this research highlighted the need for ongoing programs to promote fitness and improve functioning, laying the foundation for the Recovery Center.
Thanks to advances in medical treatment and technology, individuals with spinal cord injuries are living longer and developing many of the same medical conditions as the general population, including heart disease and stroke. Because of limited mobility, SCI individuals are at greater risk for these conditions. Although current research is largely focused on repair of SCI, we believe that the same attention is needed to develop methods of recovery and fitness for people with SCI to maintain healthy lifestyles.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
During the morning and early afternoon the Recovery Center is also a nationally known outpatient center that offers physical and occupational therapy services for people with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other neurological disorders. We offer:
- Pain assessment and treatment
- Equipment/orthotic assessment
- Evaluation and treatment
- Family/caregiver training
- Functional skills training
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Passive and active ranges of motion (PROM/AROM)
- Sensory retraining
- Wheelchair seating assessment
Outpatient Rehabilitation Program
Outpatient Rehabilitation is an advanced skills program that allows a patient with SCI to improve function in order to be as active as possible, and includes:
- Skills for uneven transfers, difficult terrain, and floor-to-chair transfers
- “Wheelie” skills for stairs and curbs
- Spasticity management
- Neuro re-education
- Assisted gait training
- Standing readiness
- Pain management
- Sensory stimulation/retraining
- Bowel and bladder retraining
Services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutrition. The treatment team also assesses the patient’s need, if any, for psychological services, wound care management, speech pathology, urology, or additional assistance through the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
Advanced Recovery Program
Advanced Recovery is a very intense program of exercise and neuromuscular retraining to allow maximum function. A multidisciplinary team develops an individualized program based on the initial clinical assessment and updates the program’s components as progress is made. The focus on physical and sensory function recovery includes progressive strengthening, progression to weight bearing, facilitated function, neuro re-education, assisted gait and cardiovascular exercise programs. The program lasts three months and may be repeated as desired, with fees based on a sliding scale structure.
Adapted Sports Program
The primary focus of the Seton Adapted Sports Program is to improve the participant’s functional fitness level. The program provides opportunities to enhance total quality of life by providing psychological and health-related benefits.
‘Think First’ Prevention
Spinal cord injury is one of the more preventable injuries that occur. Emphasis on safety and decreased risk-taking, especially for the at-risk age group, has been shown to significantly decrease the incidence of spinal cord injury. The Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center is designated as a Think First chapter. This program works with the school systems, after school programs, and with the coaches of the school sports programs to provide education and insight into preventable injuries. People who have experienced a spinal cord injury also participate in this program to emphasize the effect SCI has had on their life.
In addition, Think First and the Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center have partnered with the Austin Toros, an NBA development team, to provide education for its three summer camps.