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Brain Injury

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects more than 1.5 million Americans each year. Yet, no two injuries are alike nor do they create the same challenges for patients and their families. Furthermore, studies show that where an individual goes for treatment can make all the difference in his or her recovery.

    At SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital’s Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation, patients benefit from a highly-specialized program that is tailored to the unique physical and/or functional limitations, cognitive/communication impairments and emotional or behavioral difficulties of the individual.

    Our Approach

    SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital delivers an integrated and thorough brain injury rehabilitation program. As a specialized hospital, we provide the earliest possible start to brain injury rehabilitation to optimize the recovery of individuals at every level of injury - when appropriate, we treat those in a minimally conscious state to those requiring outpatient cognitive rehabilitation in one of our Day Institute programs.

    Our brain injury program includes:

    • A minimum of three hours of therapy, five out of seven days per week,with additional therapy offered on weekends
    • A formal patient and family education program which is offered weekly and addresses different topics specific to brain injury recovery
    • Evidence-based treatment interventions to address neuromuscular, cognitive, visual, sensory, emotional/behavioral and swallowing deficits commonly experienced by brain injured patients
    • Opportunities as appropriate for community reintegration training, on-site home evaluations, and hands-n family/caregiver training to help patients prepare for discharge

    Our goal-directed approach helps brain injury patients to:

    • maximize arousal and responsiveness
    • remap the neuro pathways in the brain and/or develop new cognitive, sensory and behavioral strategies to compensate for any deficits
    • improve physical function and mobility to enhance the skills needed to perform daily activities
    • overcome the psychological and social problems that often interfere with the adjustment to an independent life at home, work and/or in the community

    Our comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation program also focuses on the unique needs of individuals who have a traumatic brain injury and non-traumatic brain injury and require advanced treatment for their complex physical, functional, cognitive and behavioral challenges.

    Brain injuries, whether traumatic or non-traumttic, can range from mild to severe. They can interfere with the way a person thinks, behaves and functions, leaving the individual unable to perform basic tasks and affecting memory, concentration, communication, speech, swallowing and vision, as well as mobility. For some, recovery can take weeks or months. For others, it is a lifelong process. Our brain injury rehabilitation professionals understand this and work tirelessly to help patients maximize their skills and independence.

    Our Rehabilitation Team

    We provide a holistic and comprehensive program of medical, nursing, neuropsychology and therapy services to successfully address the individual needs of each patient. SSM's interdisciplinary team draws on the expertise and experience of brain injury rehabilitation specialists:

    • Physiatrists (board certified physicians in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) who manage patients' complex medical needs around the clock
    • Rehabilitation nurses deliver compassionate, evidence-based care to each patient
    • Physical, occupational and speech therapists involve patients in an intensive and comprehensive treatment program
    • Neuropsychologists address cognitive, emotional and / or behavioral issues
    • Dietitians oversee that nutritional needs are met
    • Case managers carefully coordinate the individual's stay and discharge plans
    • Recreational therapists provide leisure and social opportunities that contribute to our patients’ recovery
    • Spiritual support services are also available for patients as part of our holistic treatment approach

    Treatment and Technology

    SSM Health Rehabilitation has provided over 20 years of specialized brain injury rehabilitation in the greater St. Louis bi-state area. Many of our patients travel from other states to receive our specialized care. Our brain injury program integrates the advanced treatment, proven therapies and leading-edge technologies that benefit patient recovery.

    Among the many advances available to patients as appropriate are:

    • Body-Weight Supported Training (BWST) to improve gait performance and mobility
    • Constraint induced therapy, functional electrical stimulation devices (i.e. Bioness® and Saebo Mas®) to strengthen motor function and help build new neural pathways
    • Visual therapies to address visual impairments
    • Advanced pharmacologic and Botulinum Toxic Injections to manage spasticity
    • Videofluoroscopy, fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation by specialty certified speech language pathologists to help diagnose and treat swallowing disorders
    • Assessment and training for augmentative devices to facilitate communication

    Specialized Services

    As part of our dynamic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital provides a wide range of specialized services including orthotics services, assistive technologies, adjustment groups, advanced wheelchair seating and mobility options, and coordination with vocational counseling as needed.

    Continuum of Care

    To help individuals successfully transition to life at home, at work and in the community, the SSM Health Rehabilitation Network provides an unparalleled continuum of patient care starting at the acute hospital level, transitioning through our rehab programs, and continuing on through one of our Day Institute day programs, outpatient or home care rehab services.