"In his autobiography, A World to Care For (Random House, 1977), the father of rehabilitation, Dr. Howard Rusk wrote: '…once a person overcomes a disability through his own courage, determination and hard work, he has a depth of spirit you and I know little about…[this] is a branch of medicine in which the patient has more power than the doctor in setting the limits and possibilities…'
Following the acute trauma care that medically stabilizes the person who has sustained a spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D), the individual is transferred to acute rehabilitation. A rehabilitation program may be in the same or a different facility or a free-standing facility.
The goal of rehabilitation is to help persons learn how to care for a body that now works differently, maintain a high level of health that avoids the secondary complications of SCI and reintegrate oneself into the community.
In acute (intense) rehabilitation, the SCI/D person (and his family/significant other) becomes an important member of a team of SCI professionals that include physical medicine, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, social work, psychology and recreation. A SCI team of experts has the skill to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, lifetime approach that is so essential to the care of the person who is newly injured."