Cristina L. Sadowsky, M.D.

Dr. Cristina Sadowsky
Cristina Sadowsky
Clinical Director, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI)

Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205

Dr. Sadowsky is the clinical director of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute.


Biographical Sketch:

Born in Romania, Dr. Sadowsky attended the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest from 1983 to 1989. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Meridia Huron Hospital/Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH in 1994. She served as chief resident from July 1994 to June 1995. From there, she began a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. She was named chief resident of that program in April 1997. Immediately following the completion of her second residency, she began a fellowship in spinal cord injury medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine. At the same time, she became a clinical instructor in the school's Department of Neurology and later assumed an assistant professorship in neurology in the Division of Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury Unit. In October 2004, she moved to Baltimore, joining the Kennedy Krieger Institute as director of the paralysis restoration clinic in the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury. In March 2005, she became an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Sadowsky has served as president and treasurer of the St. Louis Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Society and previously held positions on the advisory boards of the St. Louis Wheelchair Athletic Association and the Sam Schmidt Foundation, an organization devoted to helping individuals overcome spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses by facilitating scientific research, medical treatment, rehabilitation and technology advances. She is the director of the spinal cord injury medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program, an ACGME accredited fellowship that trains physicians to deliver the highest quality medical care for any individual with spinal cord related dysfunction.

Professional honors include receiving the Outstanding Resident Award in Medicine from Meridia Huron Hospital in 1995, being named Best Resident of the Year in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Washington University School of Medicine in 1998 and Best Teaching Attending of the Year in 1999, receiving the 2000 Outstanding Performance Award from the Spinal Cord Injury Board and being named one of Top Doctors in Baltimore in 2007, Best Doctors in America 2007-2008, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012. She was also named one of America's Top Physicians in 2009, 2010, and 2011.


Research Summary:

Dr. Sadowsky’s research interests center on prevention of complications in patients with paralysis and the efficacy of activity-based restoration therapies in helping individuals with long-term spinal cord injury and paralysis recover sensation, movement and independence.

LINK: SciVal Experts Research Profile for Cristina Sadowsky


Research Studies:


Research Publications:

Hammond E, Metcalf H, McDonald J, Sadowsky C. (2014). Bone Mass in Individuals with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: Associations with Activity-Based Therapy, Functional and Neurologic Status, a Retrospective Study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. [Epub ahead of print July 2014].

Hammond ER, Recio AC, Sadowsky CL, Becker D. (2014). Functional Electrical Stimulation as a Component of Activity-Based Restorative Therapy May Preserve Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. [Epub ahead of print June 2014].

Selvarajah S, Schneider E, Becker D, Sadowsky C, Haider A, Hammond E. (2014). The Epidemiology of Childhood and Adolescent Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in the United States: 2007-2010. Journal of Neurotrauma, 31(18):1548-60.

Mertins R, Becker D, Martin R, Sadowsky C, McDonald J (2014). Application of Aquatic Therapy to a Land Therapy Program Emphasizing Gait and Balance Training in an Adult With Neuromyelitis Optica: A Case Report. Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy, 22(1):2-10.

Sadowsky CL, Hammond ER, Strohl AB, Commean PK, Eby SA, Damiano DL, Wingert JR, Bae KT, McDonald JW. (2013). Lower Extremity Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling Promotes Physical and Functional Recovery in Chronic Spinal Cord InjuryJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine36(6):623-31.

Choe AS, Belegu V, Yoshida S, Joel S, Sadowsky CL, Smith SA, van Zijl PCPekar JJMcDonald JW. (2013). Extensive Neurological Recovery from a Complete Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report and Hypothesis on the Role of Cortical PlasticityFrontiers in Human Neuroscience7(290):1-15.

Martin R, Johnston K, Sadowsky C. (2012). Brief Report: Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation-Assisted Grasp Training and Restoration of Function in the Tetraplegic Hand: A Case SeriesAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(4): 471-7.

Martin R, Sadowsky C, Obst K, Meyer B, McDonald J. (2012). Functional Electrical Stimulation in Spinal Cord Injury: From Theory to Practice. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, 18(1), 28-33.

McDonald J, Sadowsky C, Stampas A. (2012) The Changing Field of Rehabilitation: Optimizing Spontaneous Regeneration and Functional Recovery. Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 109:317-36.

Sadowsky CL, Becker D, Bosques G, Dean JM, McDonald JW 3rd, Recio A, Frohman EM. (2011). Rehabilitation in Transverse MyelitisContinuum, 17(4), 816-830.

Sadowsky CL, McDonald JW. (2009). Activity-Based Restorative Therapies: Concepts and Applications in Spinal Cord Injury-Related Neurorehabilitation. ReviewDevelopmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 15(2):112-6.

Sadowsky C. (2008). Into the Wilderness; Trauma, Hospitalization, and Acute Care. Palmer S, Kriegsman K, Palmer J (ed). Spinal Cord Injury; A Guide for Living. 2nd Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 5-36.

McDonald J, Sadowsky C. (2008). The Next Frontier: Spinal Cord Injury Research. Palmer S, Kriegsman K, Palmer J (eds). Spinal Cord Injury; A Guide for Living. 2nd Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 237-282.

McDonald  J,  Sadowsky C. (2008). Spasticity and Spinal Cord Disorders. Johnston and Gross (eds). Contemporary Neurology Series. Principles of Drug Therapy in Neurology. 2nd Edition. 273-290.

Trovato M, Pidcock F, Sadowsky C, Brandys E, Suskauer S, Salorio C, Christensen J. (2006). Rehabilitation of Children with Critical Illness. Spinal Cord Injury. Rogers Textbook of Pediatric Intensive Care. 4th Edition. 166-179.

Sadowsky C. (2007). Aquired Spinal Cord Dysfunction. Pasquale J (ed). Capute &  Accardo's Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Infancy and Childhood, Neurodevelopmental Diagnosis and Treatment, Third Edition. Volume I, 639-650.

Becker D, Sadowsky CS, McDonald JW. (2003). Restoring Function After Spinal Cord InjuryThe Neurologis, 9(1), 1-15.

McDonald JW, Sadowsky CL. (2002). Spinal-Cord InjuryLancet, 359(9304), 417-25.

Sadowsky CL, Volshteyn O, Schultz L, McDonald JW. (2002). Spinal Cord Injury. Disability and Rehabilitation, 24(13), 680-687.

McDonald JW, Becker D, Sadowsky CL, Jane JA Sr, Conturo TE, Schultz LM. (2002). Late Recovery Following Spinal Cord Injury; Case Report and Review of the Literature. Journal of Neurosurgery, 97(2 Suppl), 252-65.

Sadowsky CL. (2001). Electrical Stimulation in the Spinal Cord Injury. NeuroRehabilitatio, 16(3), 164-69.

Sadowsky CL, Margherita A. (1999). The Cost of Spinal Cord Injury Care. State of the Art Reviews in Spine (STARS), 13(3), 593-606