Specialty Programs

Locomotor Training and the NeuroRecovery Network

The RSCICDV is one of the two founding members of the NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) sponsored by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (CDRF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This network aims to create a system of specialized centers designed to provide standardized activity-based rehabilitation therapy to individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury based on current scientific and clinical evidence. The NeuroRecovery Network is operating manually and robotic assisted Locomotor Training Clinics across two sites and is now available to both inpatients and outpatients.

Locomotor Training includes use of body weight supported treadmill training, in which participants are placed in a parachute type harness attached to an overhead bar and positioned over a treadmill. Once the treadmill begins moving, therapists facilitate the individual's leg movements to optimize sensory input. This process helps individuals with spinal cord injury enhance their locomotor skills and eventually walking ability.

Diaphragm Pacing System

The RSCICDV is excited to announce a new program available for those with ventilator dependent spinal cord injury, the NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing Systemô RA/4. The RSCICDV has recently received IRB approval for the use of the NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing Systemô RA/4 which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a humanitarian use device (HUD).

The NeuRx RA/4 System is designed to help patients breathe by stimulation of their diaphragm muscles. Intramuscular diaphragm electrodes are implanted using standard laparoscopic surgical techniques. The implanted electrodes are connected to an external stimulator that delivers repetitive electrical stimulation to the patientís diaphragm causing it to contract. As a result the patient will inhale in a manner similar to natural breathing. A physician will program the Stimulator so that it produces the right stimulation patterns. The user simply connects the device to the implanted electrodes and turns it on for use; no other controls are available or necessary for operation.

The Ventilator Dependent Program is specifically designed for those individuals utilizing mechanical respiration, part or full-time, temporarily or permanently. A specially trained multidisciplinary team works with the client and family to facilitate appropriate equipment procurement, complete extensive family teaching, and establish appropriate community resources, toward the goal of returning to community living.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NES) is a therapy that utilizes advanced computer technology to deliver electrical stimulation to paralyzed muscles of the upper and lower extremities. Three NES programs available at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital are the Computerized Lower Leg Ergometry (CLLE) and the Parastep program for lower extremities and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) training for upper and lower extremities. The CLLE program utilizes a specially designed ergonomic bicycle and surface electrodes enabling individuals with SCI to ride a variable resistance stationary bicycle and benefit from aerobic conditioning. The Parastep program allows persons with SCI to stand and take some steps using surface electrode electrical stimulation of the lower extremities and a special walker. The upper and lower extremity FES devices utilizes state-of-the-art device to enhance upper and lower extremity muscle re-education and functional use of the arm, hand or leg.

Intrathecal Baclofen Program is a unique treatment to manage spasticity that delivers an effective drug directly to the fluid surrounding the spinal cord in small, precisely controlled doses using a pump that is placed internally. This program is a joint effort between Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The Dual Diagnosis Program provides comprehensive specialized services, inpatient and outpatient, to those individuals with both spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

Magee Day Rehab is part of the continuum of care once a patient has left the hospital. Magee Day Rehab is appropriate for any person who requires multiple therapies, but who does not need around-the-clock nursing care. In this program, patients take part in structured day-long rehabilitation activities, returning to their homes each evening.


The Jerry & Carolyn Segal Center for Community Skills is a unique indoor/outdoor streetscape featuring different traveling surfaces, a compact car, a gasoline pump and an automated teller machine. Patients practice skills on real-life objects; skills they will need for a more independent life after rehabilitation.

The Patient Learning Resource Center at Magee is a unique library dedicated to disability and rehabilitation information. Resources are available for clinicians, patients, families and members of the general community. The library also offers patients and families access to the Internet to explore the growing number of disability resources available online.

The Assistive Technology Center is home to some of the most advanced technology used to help people with disabilities become as functional and independent as possible. Customized electronic and computerized assistive devices enable clients to improve mobility, communication and accessibility of their homes and communities. Seating and wheelchair clinic provides customized evaluation, prescription and training for all types of specialty manual and power wheelchair systems.

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