Rehabilitation of pediatric spinal cord injury: From acute medical care to rehabilitation and beyond

Jared S. Greenberg, Alexander T. Ruutiainen, Heakyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in the pediatric population is an uncommon but potentially devastating entity that may be unfamiliar to many practitioners. Because its treatment requires a long-term, well-planned, integrated approach, understanding the natural history, treatment, and common comorbidities of pediatric SCI is crucial for all physicians caring for these children. We present a review of the current literature on this topic to discuss the current standard of medical and rehabilitation care of pediatric SCI patients. Data Sources: Studies for this review article were obtained by a thorough PubMed search, including but not limited to the terms "spinal cord injury," "SCI," "spinal rehabilitation," and "pediatric spinal injury." Frequently referenced articles of particular prominence in the field were also reviewed. Study Selection: Studies were included primarily to illustrate specific clinical situations in this overview article. Data Extraction: Studies were reviewed by the authors (JG and HK) and clinically important details were incorporated into the review. Data Synthesis: Not applicable. Conclusions: Pediatric SCI, while relatively uncommon, is a life-changing event for affected children and their families, physically, medically, and economically. Providing multidisciplinary care, as well as early and extensive rehabilitation, translates into superior outcomes. However, more research remains necessary to identify tactics for better community integration and increased educational, financial, and social success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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