The Best Care After a Spinal Cord Injury


Today, after nearly 40 years of Model System Spinal Cord Injury work, we’re the leading center (and referral destination of choice) for innovative, integrated, interdisciplinary care for people with SCI. Key to these efforts is our research involving new methods of enhancing medical and functional outcomes.


The rehabilitation course for patients with SCI requires precise medical and nursing expertise, respiratory and pulmonary care and sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. For several years, we have dedicated investments in talent, space and equipment that attract a high volume of patients with challenging conditions. The high volume, diversity of condition and greater complexity enables us to continuously expand our experience and sharpen our skill in helping patients recover from SCI.


Primary goals for patients in this Innovation Center include the emergence of meaningful motor function, sensation, coordination and endurance, resolution of respiratory and vascular instability, and overall continued medical recovery from the injury or disease.

In the Spinal Cord Innovation Center, patients are surrounded by the most talented physicians, clinicians and scientists with expertise in the complex human physiology of and functional recovery from SCI. The Center is staffed with our leaders in this field, and equipped to handle all levels, types and severity of SCI, including patients with complete paralysis and who require mechanical ventilation

How We Heal

In the Spinal Cord Innovation Center, we continue conducting clinical trials and human-subject research to facilitate neurologic repair and recovery. Research includes pharmacotherapeutic interventions, application of biologic materials, and the use of embryonic stem-cell therapies.

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Spinal Cord Innovation Center

The Center is staffed with skilled nurses and physicians with expertise in the functional recovery from SCI equipped to handle all levels, types and severity.

Legs + Walking Lab

The Margaret & Mark Stephan Legs + Walking Lab is designed for patients and research participants with diagnoses affecting lower-body function due to brain or spinal cord injury and diseases of the nerves, muscles and bones. Researchers and clinicians focus on advancing trunk, pelvic and leg function, movement, coordination, strength and balance.

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Arms + Hands Lab

The two-story Harris Family Foundation Arms + Hands Lab is a robust environment designed for patients and research participants working on recovering and strengthening complex hand and reaching skills — turning a key, picking up a pen, reaching for a glass, putting on a sweater…all the many things we do with our hands, arms and fingers.

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Pediatric Lab

Pediatric patients (inpatient and outpatient) work with doctors, researchers and therapists in this kid-customized Grainger Pediatric Lab, scaled for smaller bodies, developing brains and appealing to young imaginations. 

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Strength + Endurance Lab

Designed for patients and research participants working on building stamina and resilience, the Nancy W. Knowles Strength + Endurance Lab is where therapy is targeted to improve complex motor and endurance activities, coordination and higher-level activities of daily living (cooking, dressing, gardening, sports).

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What We Treat

The AbilityLab is here to help you become your best self again. Visit the condition pages below to see what makes our treatment programs unique from all other hospitals.