Four rehabilitation physicians surround a spinal cord injury patient in therapy

Spinal Cord Injury


Following a spinal cord injury (SCI), the ability to return home and to the community with the highest degree of lifelong independence possible -with a minimized risk for secondary complications - is closely related to initial inpatient rehabilitation. That's why we make sure the rehab experience is as effective and valuable as it can be through a combination of staff, experience, expertise and scope of services that are unmatched on the West Coast and the surrounding region.


Since the Rehabilitation Center began treating individuals with spinal cord injuries in 1941, thousands of men, women, adolescents and children have trusted us with their care. Each year an average of 150 people receive inpatient rehab for SCI in a specialized, 32-bed unit dedicated to spinal cord injury care. These high numbers of patients translate directly into more experience across all aspects of rehabilitation, which, in turn, helps create better patient outcomes including much higher than average discharge-to-home statistics and functional gains right after leaving the Rehabilitation Center and over time.


The Rehabilitation Center at SCVMC is staffed with more SCI-boarded physicians than any other rehabilitation center on the West Coast. The health professionals who make up our multidisciplinary team of nurses, therapists, social workers, case managers, psychologists, and other physician specialists also have extensive experience and skills in the area of spinal cord injury rehabilitation.


Having a comprehensive range of specialists across multiple rehab disciplines means we can bring together a team that best meets your specific diagnosis and level of injury. This high degree of personalized involvement, directed to an individual, not a condition, makes up an important part of your care during inpatient rehabilitation and also helps guide your ongoing recovery when you return home.

Hydroworx therapy pool 


Five Star Award  2015-2020
Top 10% Nationally in Quality of Care

Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC) gathers patient satisfaction and follow up data after discharge. Please help us learn how we are performing by responding to the phone survey by PRC.
PRC Spinal Cord Demographic July to Dec 2017 



  • Accredited by the Joint Commission and certified by Medi-Cal and Medicare.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for Inpatient Rehabilitation Spinal Cord Specialty Program Children and Adolescents, Adults​.
The Joint Commision and CARF logo 

Background on Care for Spinal Cord Injury


Learn what happens when the spinal cord is injured & how to prevent an injury.

Patient StorIES


A spinal cord injury didn’t stop Lauren. Watch her back at home living life.


Philip’s rehab team, family, and hard work helped him return to his winery.


A ground-breaking stem cell clinical trial helped Katie recover quicker.

Female spinal cord injury patient in bed smiling surrounded by therapists 

Special Spinal Cord Injury Programs​

The Peer Support Program

This free resource for individuals with spinal cord injury matches current patients with former patients who have faced similar challenges. This peer relationship adds an important level of encouragement and support during rehabilitation and in the community after discharge. Clinical psychologists provide individual and group counseling to both patients and families and a number of speakers join the groups to offer information and share experiences. 
The program also gives participants the opportunity to network with other members of the spinal cord injury community and learn more about local resources and services that are available in their home communities. Issues and concerns frequently discussed include coping, attitudinal barriers, accessibility, referrals, parenting, relationships and intimacy, adaptive technologies and educational and job opportunities. These sessions are free of charge, private, and confidential.

Male physician talking with two rehabilitation patients in the therapy gym

Respiratory rehabilitation Unit (RRU)

Critical Services for Patients, a Valuable Resource for Referring Physicians:
The Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit is a unique component of our overall rehabilitation program. The availability of this intensive care setting within the Rehabilitation Center allows for earliest possible admission and treatment following a spinal cord injury, providing rehabilitation-focused care for medically complex patients including those who have just had or are about to have surgery.
The use of medical intensivists in the RRU, physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill or injured patients, is an approach that SCVMC helped pioneer and is a valuable complement to the work of the spine surgeon and neurosurgeon in the operating room. Although the RRU primarily treats individuals with spinal cord injury, patients with traumatic brain injury accompanied by respiratory concerns are also cared for in this distinctive medical setting.
The Trauma Center is also equipped with a helipad, and accepts patients from across Silicon Valley. Having the highest level of emergency response on the same campus as the Rehabilitation Center means that patients don’t have to be transferred to other facilities if the need for a higher level of care arises.
Ventilator Dependent Program - A note to physicians:
The Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit​ provides around-the-clock respiratory management for ventilator dependent patients. Our specialization in invasive and non-invasive respiratory technology has resulted in an outstanding record of successful vent weaning and home discharge. In addition, our rate of pulmonary emboli occurrence is exceptionally low and therapeutic bronchoscopies average less than one per 100 patients.​

Couple talking with rehabilitation therapist

Patient and Family Education

Designed as an ongoing educational series, this program offers guest speakers and other presentations and activities that focus on patient and family concerns and lifetime care following spinal cord injury. Individuals with spinal cord injury will have the opportunity to network with other members of the spinal cord injury community and will be informed about local resources and services that are available in their community.