Spinal Cord Injury

Don't feel sorry for yourself. Get up every morning and go to the [therapy] gym and work as hard as you can to get back to normal.

Brandon Breunig, Spinal Cord Injury Survivor

Brandon's Story

Brandon began rehabilitation at Madonna after an April 2016 car crash left him with a spinal cord injury.  Brandon reached many personal goals, including showing his pig at the county fair, by utilizing specialty equipment like the EKSO GT Robotic Exoskeleton and the expertise of his team in the pool and on land.

https://vimeo.com/172023680
Technology and innovative therapies are helping a 6-foot-6 teen recover from a spinal cord injury

Technology and innovative therapies are helping a 6-foot-6 teen recover from a spinal cord injury

Overview

Madonna’s Spinal Cord Injury Program can help patients of all ages return to their life roles, regardless of the level of spinal cord injury, by participation in an intense rehabilitation program that maximizes strengths and provides specialized comprehensive education and training.

On-Site Care

Patients will be seen daily by a physiatrist, also known as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, who specializes in the rehabilitative treatment and management of disease and injury affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. The primary focus is to restore function and promote overall health.

Registered nurses with rehabilitation training or experience are on staff at all times to care for patients.

Madonna staffs licensed respiratory care practitioners at all times. Our respiratory therapists are able to provide arterial blood gas (ABG) services. Pulmonologists can perform bronchoscopies on-site with help from the respiratory team.

Patient-family education is provided on a wide variety of topics, including emergency preparedness, management of a personal assistant, aging with disability, prevention of potential risks and complications from SCI, life-care planning, self-advocacy and community resources.

Madonna provides a full range of inpatient pharmacy services, including medication distribution, patient education, and clinical/dosing services.

Madonna is able to provide radiology services that include X-ray, ultrasound, echocardiogram, venous doppler, arterial doppler, Holter monitor, sleep study and electroencephalogram (EEG).

Madonna's in-house laboratory provides anticoagulation, hematology, chemistry, therapeutic drug level testing and urine analysis services with results available the same day in most cases

Madonna has registered dietitians and licensed medical nutrition therapists who are part of the care team and ensure the patient's individualized nutrition plan is met

Neuropsychologists and rehabilitation counselors are an integral part of rehabilitation at Madonna.  They provide a variety of services, including neuropsychological assessment, adjustment counseling, pain management, family therapy, concussion or mild brain injury evaluation, memory testing, dementia evaluation, neurofeedback, biofeedback, behavioral management and psychoeducation

Assistive Technology Professional certified therapists provide seating and positioning evaluations for patients who use a wheelchair.

Our Spinal Cord Injury Program is comprehensive, providing medical interventions in the areas of autonomic dysreflexia, bladder and bowel function, circulation, swallowing and nutrition, infection, medication management, musculoskeletal and neurological effects, pain, respiration including ventilator and/or tracheostomy management, sexual function/fertility, skin integrity and spasticity management. Patients with a need for chemical use/abuse/dependency treatment are referred for treatment outside Madonna.

Life-long wellness training — including having a plan to stay active and to exercise safely — is also important for individuals completing their rehabilitation. Our trained staff promotes success by employing specially adapted equipment to teach patients how and what to do in a community based fitness environment. In addition, they explore new wellness opportunities that match a patient’s current fitness level.

Madonna is committed to meet all the needs of its patients--physical, spiritual and emotional. A spiritual care professional is a member of and consults with the care team. The chapel, the heart and soul of Madonna, is there to nurture faith and hope during times of crisis.

Additional Programs and Services

Madonna offers specialized services that focus on real-life skills to help people achieve their greatest level of independence and get back to their families, work, community and activities.

Awards and accreditations

View a list of awards and accreditations that demonstrate our commitment to providing the best quality of care for our patients.  

State-of-the-Art Technology

As a nationally recognized rehabilitation leader, Madonna has some of the most advanced rehabilitation technology available.

Spinal Cord Injury Online Resources

The amount of information available about spinal injuries can be overwhelming.  Madonna coordinates with local, regional and national organizations to help patients find the most helpful online resources.

Patient Stories

With motivation from Madonna staff, Kansas woman exceeds expectations

6/13/2017 2:41 PM | Patient Stories

Motivation is the driving force behind rehabilitation, but where patients find their motivation differs. Brandi Jecha, 25, says one of her biggest motivators was Physical Therapist Kristi Rocole.

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Madonna researchers develop communication technology for patients with severe disabilities

6/12/2017 4:16 PM | Patient Stories

Technology developed by the Communication Center of Excellence in the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering helps patients at Madonna communicate.

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Retired Children’s foundation director fortunate for Madonna after spinal cord injury

6/4/2017 8:49 AM | Patient Stories

Roger Lewis’ retirement plans to travel, spend more time with family and civic duty have been put on temporary hold as he recovers from a spinal cord injury. A tough fight, Roger considers himself lucky, saying he’s “very fortunate in this part of the country to have a facility like Madonna available for those of us who face these kinds of problems and face this kind of challenge to get better.”

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Spinal cord injury survivor describes rehabilitation

4/21/2017 10:13 AM | Patient Stories

Spinal cord injury survivor John Abkes, of Omaha, Nebraska, describes his rehabilitation experience as a patient at Madonna's Lincoln Campus and in outpatient at Madonna's Omaha Campus.

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Iowa bridesmaid fulfills vow after brain and spinal trauma

4/7/2017 3:08 PM | Patient Stories

Wedding season is fast approaching and for Emily Meyer, being part of her big brother’s big day was a huge motivator in her recovery. During the summer 2016 the Iowa State college student was involved in a car accident. Suffering brain and spinal cord trauma Emily spent five months recovering at Madonna’s Lincoln campus. She says keeping her promise is what motivated her each day of therapy.

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