Whether involved in a catastrophic accident that damages the spinal cord or struck by an illness such as a spinal cord tumor, people with spinal cord disorders have many productive years ahead and deserve the best quality of life possible.
As one of the country's largest and most respected rehabilitation centers, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital has helped hundreds of individuals with spinal cord disorders to make incredible strides in their lives. Our system of care extends from acute inpatient rehabilitation to linkages for outpatient and day treatment programs, home care, community re-integration, and support groups.
Our comprehensive rehabilitative care focuses on helping individuals achieve the highest level of functional recovery for independence in the home and community. Services are directed toward building self-reliance, teaching new strategies for performing activities of daily living, and optimizing their return to the community. A vital component of our program is our spinal cord education series, which provides individuals and their families with information on medical management, psychosocial support and community resources.
As a comprehensive rehabilitation facility, we offer a full range of treatment services. Our goal is to provide individuals and their families many options from which to choose the most appropriate program of care based on each person’s medical status, physical endurance, lifestyle, and social and vocational needs. Individually tailored programs can begin anywhere in our continuum of care—inpatient, outpatient or community re-entry services.
Medical management includes optimizing cardiovascular and pulmonary functioning, preserving musculoskeletal and skin integrity, reestablishing bowel and bladder functioning, and ensuring good nutritional habits. Physical and occupational therapies focus on preserving and increasing strength, range of motion, balance, and coordination for functional mobility and activities of daily living. Psychology services provide support and counseling for promoting positive family relationships as well as sexuality education. Therapeutic recreation can help patients adapt old and new leisure activities into their lifestyles.
Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital has a lifetime follow-up program for individuals with spinal cord injuries and disorders. This program enables us to periodically check on the healthcare status and functional progress of each person as well as provide ongoing assistance when needed for medical or other problems that may arise after discharge from our care.
Persons considered for admission typically range in age from 18 to 95, although we sometimes admit those younger than 18 years old after careful review. Nearly all those admitted to our program come after a two or three week stay in an acute care hospital.
Our average inpatient stay is about three weeks, but can range from a few days to a few months. Some of our spinal cord patients have trauma to the spine from a motor vehicle or other accident. Others have diseases that cause spinal dysfunction, such as multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, other degenerative spinal conditions, spinal tumor, spinal stenosis or medical/surgical complications. The vast majority go on to Day Treatment, outpatient therapy or home-based therapies to continue their rehabilitation. We also offer a lifetime follow-up program to provide ongoing help as needed.
Nowhere is a team approach more essential than with spinal cord injuries and disorders. Medical Director John Kraus, MD, Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Medicine, and Pain Medicine, has more than 20 years experience in treating spinal cord disorders. He leads a team of physicians, pharmacist, rehabilitation nurses, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapists, psychologists, dietitians and case managers who work in collaboration with individuals and their families to achieve the best outcomes. Dr. Kraus also provides medical direction for RehabWorks, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital’s program for individuals with work-related injuries or chronic pain.
Every inpatient receives care 24 hours a day from physicians and nurses with specialty training in rehabilitation. Patients receive therapy services seven days a week. Other rehabilitative services such as psychology, recreational therapy and speech therapy are provided based on our assessment of each person’s needs and are provided in addition to physical and occupational therapy. Weekly care conferences are held by the team to review progress, identify barriers to independence and devise interventions tailored to the needs of the individual.
This intensive level of care is person and family-centered and may include conferences or individual meetings with team members. Family members are encouraged to participate in daily therapy sessions. For those traveling long distances, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital offers on-site family accommodations by reservation during your loved one’s stay in order to facilitate family education and training.
Individuals with spinal cord injuries often require specialized equipment to maximize independence during their inpatient stay and upon discharge home. Hospital rooms on the Spinal Cord Disorders Unit are equipped with specialty beds, mechanical equipment and assistive devices that enable a person to recover safely and effectively.
These outpatient programs are designed to assist individuals regain independence for return to home, community, school and the workplace. Participation can be full or half day. Therapy in the Comprehensive Outpatient Spinal Cord Program (Day Treatment), which includes an adolescent program, focuses on acquisition of daily living skills, functional mobility and cognitive training. Vocational rehabilitation is an important component of this program and occurs on-site. Appropriate referrals are made for needed community resources.
At Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, we believe that education and support for families are vital components of treatment. Support groups for patients and their families/ friends meet at the hospital to offer information and emotional support. For more information please contact Adrienne Young at 484.596.5560. The group meets the fourth Thursday of the month from 6 to 8 pm.
We offer many specialized services that can enhance a program of care or can be requested individually. These include:
A referral to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital can be made by a physician, an insurance case manager, a social worker from an acute-care hospital, or a family member. Our clinical liaisons are available on-site at many acute-care hospitals in the Delaware Valley to review and evaluate medical records and to speak to families whose loved ones could benefit from our specialized services. Family members are strongly encouraged to visit our campus and to tour our Spinal Cord Disorders Unit and therapy facilities when making a decision about rehabilitation care.
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Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital
414 Paoli Pike
Malvern, PA 19355
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