Program Description

Madonna believes that, regardless of a patient’s level of spinal cord injury, our Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program can help them return to their life roles with the help of assistive technology, networking with other individuals with similar conditions, by participation in an intense rehabilitation program that maximizes strengths, and by learning how to be a good advocate.

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is accredited by CARF, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission, as a Spinal Cord System of Care — hospital-level and comprehensive-outpatient — for adults and pediatric family centered care. We offer comprehensive programming for children and adults with all levels of SCI on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. As one of only four hospitals in the United States to be CARF accredited as both a Spinal Cord System of Care and a Pediatric Specialty Program, we are held to higher standards of quality, outcomes and programming.

Scope of Services

Madonna’s Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program serves children 0-18 and adults with all levels of SCI who might have complete or incomplete neurological impairments. An interdisciplinary team of clinicians address a multitude of functional areas, including activities of daily living (ADL), assistive technology, behavior management, cognition (thinking and reasoning skills), communication, community integration, driving, durable medical equipment, environmental modifications, leisure and recreation, mobility, braces, wheelchair seating systems and vocational rehabilitation.

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.

The 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.

Clinical Expertise: Each patient’s care is directed by a physician who specializes in physiatry and/or a physician who specializes in internal medicine. A pediatrician is involved daily to care for individuals 18 years or younger. Madonna nurses are specially trained to care for patients with spinal cord injury, and several of our nurses have specialty training as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse.

Treatment Equipment: Madonna is one of the region’s only rehabilitation hospitals to offer high-tech treatment equipment such as the RT-300, body weight support treadmill, Lokomat and Bioness functional electric stimulation braces that help individuals with incomplete SCI regain motor strength and control.

Madonna features a multitude of assistive technology that assists individuals with any level of injury the opportunity to be more independent while using the telephone, accessing the computer and environmental control units. Examples include: voice-activated phones; voice-activated computer software; eye-gaze software; and environmental control systems using sip/puff or other switches.

Wheelchair Seating and Positioning: Selecting a wheelchair and following up after getting a new wheelchair are important to the overall long-term success of an individual with spinal cord injury. Pressure ulcers are a common and very costly secondary complication in persons with SCI. An adequate seating system is one way to prevent this complication. Madonna features an electronic pressure-mapping system that visually indicates pressure points, allowing clinicians to design and provide an appropriate seating system.

Preparation for Home: Madonna SCI patients are provided with a 24-hour, caregiver-training program based on principles of self-advocacy and self-direction. We teach patients — with or without their caregivers — how to direct their care and what to do if emergencies arise. We provide opportunities to practice these skills, ending in a 2-3 night stay in Madonna’s transitional apartment. This apartment is located on the unit, with easy access to medical staff if needed, with the expectation that a family member or other caregiver will assist with the personal care required during the patient’s stay. The patient will direct his or her care and independently follow his or her therapy schedule. In addition, Madonna provides a two-week daily education class for all patients and family/friends on a variety of SCI topics.

Community Re-Entry: Rehabilitation does not stop when the patient gains basic skills of self-care and mobility. Madonna integrates a variety of adaptive sports and recreational outings into therapy, or just for fun. Patients may also visit with a vocational rehabilitation counselor about work re-entry, and may work on specific goals related to their return to driving or school.

Home Assessments: Madonna offers this service for inpatients and outpatients. Because people with neurological condition’s physical needs often change over time, this is a key service throughout a person’s life.

Structured Independence: It is important for individuals completing their rehabilitation to stay active and exercise safely. Our trained staff promotes success by using specially adapted equipment to teach how and what to do in a community based fitness environment.

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
5401 South St.
Lincoln, NE 68506
Phone: (402) 413-3000
Toll-Free: (800) 676-5448