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Learn More About the Spinal Cord Injury Resources, Rehabilitation and Research at Ohio State

Ohio State offers patient individualized, patient-tailored solutions embedded in dedicated and certified inpatient and outpatient services specialized in SCI neurorehabilitation. The clinical SCI services liaise with international recognized basic and preclinical research at the Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair.

What is SCI? (Spinal Cord Injury)

Spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal which causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury. The Spinal Cord Model Systems Program was developed to produce systematic research and program development to help improve medical care and outcomes for individuals who have experienced spinal cord injury. This system has been proven to be superior over fragmented SCI research.

Spinal Cord Injury Patient Programs

Inpatient Programs

Ohio State's Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Services is a national leader in helping people regain function, wellness and a better quality of life.

Ohio State is a state and national leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Services, a 60-bed facility, is home to Ohio State's inpatient rehabilitation program.

For more than 50 years, Ohio State has forged a tradition of excellence in physical rehabilitation by providing the highest quality care to people with disabling or debilitating injuries and conditions.

Learn more about our inpatient programs

Outpatient Programs

Martha morehouseOhio State's Martha Morehouse Outpatient Services provides nationally recognized and accredited rehabilitation services in outpatient settings.

Whether you are seeking rehabilitative care for a minor injury or a more serious, debilitating disease or condition, Ohio State offers the expert care you need in a convenient, outpatient location.

Ohio State’s team of specialists combines state-of-the-art treatments with personalized care to meet each patient's unique, changing needs and goals.

Learn more about our outpatient programs


The national Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model System is funding the (Central) Ohio Regional SCI Model System (SCIMS) to be one of 14 sites in its program. This unique program has been in existence since the 1970s, with more than 30 sites participating during the various funding cycles. The program aims to improve our understanding of the factors that impact outcomes following SCI. Participants contribute information about their lives after a spinal cord injury, which is gathered into the National SCI Database, one of the world’s largest. This database enables studies to develop better treatments and resources for improving care and quality of life following injury.

Our Study

PROSPECT ADDITION SCI - A PROSPECTive study of Autonomic Dynamic Dysfunction to predict infecTIONs after Spinal Cord Injury

Individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) are at a much higher risk for developing secondary infections, such as respiratory infections, when compared to able-bodied individuals. This is due to the fact that SCI weakens the individual’s immune system. One of the cornerstone research studies currently being conducted at the Ohio Regional SCI Model Systems Program aims to identify patients ‘at risk’ for acquiring infections after SCI. We expect that the findings of our study will help doctors prevent secondary infections in patients with SCI.  


How we collect our data

SCIMS 2Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the variations in the time between an individual’s heartbeat. With the use of heart rate monitors, we are able to detect changes in HRV. Significant changes in HRV indicate that the autonomic nervous system (which controls body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure) is not stable, which can then impact the immune system. Our goal is to determine if early HRV measures can predict subsequent infections in SCI patients. This will improve our ability to prevent infections. 

Resources and Education

Resources and Education

SCI web resources

Active Lifestyle and Health
Able Outdoors
Adapted Lifestyle and Health
Adaptive Adventure
Adaptive Sports Connection Ohio
Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio
Adaptive Yoga
Arts and Disability
Buckmasters American Deer Foundation
Disabled Sports USA
Facing Disability
Handicapped Scuba Association
Move Forward
Nutrition Advice

Adaptive Equipment
Able Data
Disabled Sports USA
Disabled Work Tools
Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP)
Epical Solutions
Rio Mobility
Universal Design Style

American Association of People with Disabilities
Being Your Own Advocate
Disability Rights Ohio
National Council on Disability
Save the Cord Foundation
Unite 2 Fight Paralysis

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Other Information on Civil and Legal Rights
The ADA National Network
United States Access Board
Understanding the ADA

Assistive Technology 
Assistive Technology Center
Assistive Technology of Ohio
Assistive Technology of Ohio - Device Lending Library
Occupational Therapy Driver Rehabilitation Program

Clinical Trials
OSU Study Search (find a study that is right for you)
SCI Clinical Trials Listing
Search for an SCI Study

Adaptive Driving Alliance
Adaptive Motor Vehicles
Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED)
Driving Factsheet
OSU Driving Rehabilitation

Education and Employment
Employment Resources
Finding Employee
Office of Disability Employment
Ohio AgrAbility

Emergency Preparedness
Checklist and Self-Assessment
Disability and Health Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness and SCI
Planning for a Natural Disaster
Disability Emergency Prep Ohio State University

Family, Dating & Sexuality
Discussion on Spinal Cord Injury and Intimacy
Girls Health.gov 
MSKTC: Pregnancy & Women
MSKTC: Sexuality
Rediscovering Intimacy (Dr. Mitchell Tepper)
Sex on Wheels
Sexuality After Spinal Cord Injury

National SCI Statistics Center
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Spinal Cord Injury Research Evidence
The Travis Roy Foundation
The Woody Foundation
United Spinal Association

General Resources for People Living with SCI
Aging with a Disability
Living with SCI
'Paralyzed Living' YouTube Channel
Ohio State alumni's videos of SCI-related topics and how-to's (YouTube)
UK-based video channel about SCI (YouTube)
Video on aging with a disability (YouTube)
World collection of videos about people living with chronic health and disability
Spinal Cord Injury Zone
Unite 2 Fight Paralysis
Paralyzed Veterans of America
National SCI Statistics Center
United States Access Board
United Spinal Association

Grants and Funding Opportunities
Challenged Athletes Foundation Grant Program
GoHawkeye Enabling Grant Program
Grants for Adapted Sports
High Fives Organization
I'm Able Foundation
Kelly Brush Foundation
Travis Roy Foundation
Triumph Foundation

Housing and Community Living
Creative Living
Home Repair Services
National Council on Independent Living

Reading Material - Disability Magazines
Ability Magazine
Disability News
New Mobility Magazine
Paraplegia News Online
Sports N Spokes

Resources for Caregivers and Family Members of People Living with SCI
Caregiver Resources
Caregiver Support
Caregiver: The Important Role of Family
10 Ways You Can Help Someone with a Spinal Cord Injury

SCI Basics, Care and Secondary Conditions
Managing Secondary Conditions
Understanding SCI Fact Sheet

Adaptive Adventure
“Gimp on the go” 
Important Topics to Know When Traveling
Information on Wheelchair-Accessible Travel & Leisure
Instructional Travel Video
Travel for All
Traveler Aisle Chair
Traveling with a disability 
Traveling with a Wheelchair
TSA special procedures
Wheelchair World

Red Flags: When to avoid a treatment for SCI

Red Flags: What to know about, so called, "miracle cures"
  1. A good clinical trial will be testing a treatment that has undergone extensive investigation in animals and will have shown a strong and repeatable effect. 
  2. Experimental treatments offered in the absence of a clinical trial can be dangerous. It is a good idea to ask if the treatment being offered has been subjected to proper clinical testing within a laboratory or clinical setting. 
  3. Treatments offered for material gain by any organization can also be dangerous to obtain. One should not have to pay  for any procedure specifically related to a clinical trial program, however, one's health care insurance may have to pay for current treatments which are considered standard of care.   

What You Should Know if You are Considering a Treatment For SCI

It is not uncommon for patients with recent spinal cord injuries (SCI) to be told that there is no treatment that will repair the damage. This is done to persuade the individual to begin focusing on rehabilitation rather than hooping for a miracle cure. However, great advances are being made within the field each day and as these studies move from laboratories to clinical settings, they will be made subject to clinical trials and, in time, will become available to the public.

Contact Us

For more information about participation in spinal cord injury research at Ohio State and other options to participate in SCI model systems, please call the research coordinator at 614-366-3877.


Our Locations

Our Team

scims group photo

Our Team


Jan M. Schwab MD PhD

Professor of Neurology and Neurosciences 
Director Spinal Cord Injury Division, Department of Neurology
Project Director for the Ohio Regional SCI Model System (OSU) 
W. E. Hunt & Charlotte M. Curtis Chair in Neuroscience


Jennifer Bogner, PhD, ABPP, FACRM

Co-Project Director, Ohio Regional SCI Model System
Director, Division of Rehabilitation Psychology
Vice Chair of Research and Academic Affairs
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Adam's Story

While a college student, Adam was paralyzed following a serious car accident. During outpatient rehabilitation he gained the motivation and support from therapists that he needed to deal with his initial depression and rediscover a quality of life and independence.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Shirley was suddenly paralyzed when an epidural abscess spontaneously grew and compressed her spine. As an outpatient rehabilitation patient in the NeuroRecovery Network, Shirley was motivated and determined to put in the work needed to recover.


Vibhor Krishna, MBBS, a functional neurological surgeon at Ohio State, explains, this includes direct stimulation of the spinal cord, peripheral nerves and brain to essentially train still functioning connections to take over the control of movements damaged by spinal cord injury.

Recovery from Paralysis

As the first patient accepted to both the locomotor training program and The NeuroRecovery Network at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Brianna completed over a year of intense outpatient rehabilitation.

Regaining a Normal Life Following Paralysis

An Ohio State physical therapist and outpatient rehabilitation patient explain how the Outpatient Rehabilitation Program provides a team atmosphere to help patients regain a new sense of normalcy following paralysis or injury.

Shirley's Journey

Just one month after beginning outpatient therapy with the NeuroRecovery Network at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Shirley was able to stand after being paralyzed. Therapists focused on helping her gain functional recovery and she says she can now do pretty much what she wants, when she wants—it simply takes a bit of adaptation at times.


The production of this website was supported by Grant 90SI5020 from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.