There are a variety of complications and conditions that can occur as a result of a spinal cord injury - pressure sores, respiratory complications urinary tract infections, spasticity, and scoliosis. These are secondary conditions and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia is one of the best outpatient facilities in the country that treats secondary conditions of spinal cord injuries. Founded by the parents of a quadriplegic in the 1970s, the Shepherd Center's Outpatient Program has remained one of the best in the country.
Their Outpatient Program is also called their Multi-Specialty Clinic and it provides a variety of individual clinics that treat secondary conditions resulting from a spinal cord injury or brain injury. While many rehabilitation hospitals have a singular Outpatient clinic, the abundant programs offered within Shepherd’s Outpatient Clinic make it unique.
Read on to discover the most popular clinics at Shepherd Center’s Outpatient Clinic.
Shepherd Center Spine and Pain Institute
There are a total of 14 outpatient clinics at Shepherd and one of the most popular is Shepherd’s Spine and Pain Institute. Many people suffer from neurological pain after their spinal cord injury and the Pain Institute at Shepherd will develop strategies to alleviate your pain. This clinic has the latest technology to diagnose and treat a variety of pain that occurs in people with paralysis.
They also have a model that is used to treat both physical and emotional components of pain and they use the latest imaging available. Shepherd Center’s Spine and Pain Institute understands the variety of chronic pain that can occur from a spinal cord injury too and offers dozens of new and tried and true therapies.
Wound Care Clinic
Hard-to-heal wounds are a common secondary side effect of living with a spinal cord injury. At the Shepherd Center, a Wound Care Clinic is part of their Outpatient Program. This clinic helps with all degrees of wounds from the beginning stages of pressure sores to wounds that require surgery. They also offer guidance from a nurse practitioner who follows-up with recommendations for safe and effective healing options.
Upper Extremity Clinic
For those with quadriplegia, the Upper Extremity Clinic is where you can get therapy on your arms, wrists, and hands. They have orthopedic upper extremity and hand the surgeons who specialize in tendon transfer surgeries for quadriplegics. They can also assist with spasticity and increasing tone in your upper body that can assist with independence.
There are a variety of side effects that can occur with the urological system after a spinal cord injury. The Shepherd Center specializes in diagnostic, surgical and bladder management services for men and women with spinal cord injuries. If you have incontinence, they can assist with managing this. They can also perform any surgery that may enable independent bladder management, such as Mitroffanoff surgery.
Diaphragm Pacing System (DPS) Evaluation
For those with high-level cervical injuries, Shepherd offers its Diaphragm Pacing System Evaluation program. This program looks at a person's ability to possibly undergo Diaphragm Pacing Systems surgery, which can help many people who are reliant on a respirator to no longer need one. The surgery enables this by implanting electrodes that stimulate the phrenic nerve, which controls the diaphragm. For many people, this surgery is life-changing, as it also improves speech, olfactory sensation and opens up people's ability to leave their homes and travel.
Adapted Driving Services
If you're looking to drive after your spinal cord injury, the Adaptive Driving Services program at Shepherd is exemplary. They offer van driving evaluations, car driving evaluations, where they evaluate your ability to independently transfer and load your wheelchair into the car, as well as high-tech van driving evaluations. They also have experts on staff who can help you drive again by using a joystick or touchpad controls.
Adaptive Technology Consultation Services
Many people with high-level cervical injuries are interested in environmental control of their home and work environments. They have a Computer Access Clinic and an Environmental Control Clinic at Shepherd that help people disabilities learn about the best technology for their needs.
While we covered many of the popular outpatient programs for people with spinal cord injuries at the Shepherd Center, they also serve outpatients with brain injuries. One of their outpatient programs for patients with brain injuries is their Neuropsychology Clinic, which performs comprehensive evaluations of people who are concerned about their thinking abilities.
Written by Spinal Cord TeamSpinalCord.com has been created as a resource for patients of spinal cord injuries and their families. Find everything you need to learn more about your injury, locate a doctor or treatment center, or discover financial relief to support you through this difficult time.
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