Seating & Mobility Clinic at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury

Kennedy Krieger Institute • 801 North Broadway • Baltimore, MD 21205

About Our Program:

Achieving independent mobility and being able to access your environment can be difficult following a spinal cord injury or paralysis. The Seating and Mobility Clinic within the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger Institute provides comprehensive evaluations and fittings of wheelchairs and specialized seating systems to determine the best equipment to meet your mobility and positioning needs. Our clinic welcomes both children and adults.

Selection of the appropriate wheelchair and seating system is an important process, especially when an individual depends on a wheelchair for mobility. Our therapists provide specialized evaluations for complex or custom medical equipment, including:

  • Custom manual wheelchairs
  • Custom power wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair seating components, such as specialized backs, pressure-relieving cushions, and headrests
  • Adaptive strollers

Customized seating can improve:

  • Independence with mobility
  • Balance
  • Independence with activities of daily living
  • Posture and control of head, trunk, and extremities
  • Environmental access in the home and community
  • Protection of skin integrity
  • Organ function
  • Comfort
  • Protection of upper extremity joints
  • Safety

The Seating and Mobility Clinic at ICSCI may be helpful if you have any of the following:

  • Significant leg weakness that makes walking difficult
  • Significant arm weakness or pain that has impaired your ability to propel your chair
  • Balance issues that make walking unsafe
  • A poorly fitting wheelchair
  • Pain or discomfort with sitting in your wheelchair
  • A history of skin breakdown or current breakdown related to your wheelchair
  • Difficulty using your current wheelchair in your home or community
  • Poor endurance or fatigue with walking or with use of your current chair
  • A significant change in your medical or physical condition that has made mobility difficult

What to Expect:

Evaluation: During an initial evaluation, therapists identify the primary reasons for the appointment and the factors affecting the patient’s mobility and equipment needs, such as:

  • Musculoskeletal alignment and function
  • Functional ability, such as the ability to self-propel
  • Skin integrity
  • Transfer status
  • Pain levels
  • Status of current equipment
  • Home accessibility needs, with recommendations for modifications, if needed
  • Nutritional status and risks
  • Transportation considerations
  • For some equipment, therapy trials may be available for demonstration

Pressure Mapping: Pressure mapping technology (PMT) is an evaluation tool that shows actual pressure between a body surface and the seating system. In conjunction with our evaluation, pressure mapping may be recommended to reduce risk of skin breakdown and to improve client positioning outcomes and comfort.

Recommendations: Our clinicians provide patient-centered care. During the evaluation, therapists work with the patient,family, and rehabilitation equipment specialists to recommend the most appropriate equipment to meet the goals of the individual. Necessary documentation to assist with equipment authorizations for insurance coverage is provided.

Delivery, Follow-Up, and Training: Once the equipment arrives, patients and their families visit the clinic for an extensive customization, fitting, and training session to ensure that goals were met. During this session, our staff teaches patients and their families how to assemble and disassemble the equipment, make minor adjustments, provide guidance to facilitate transfers, and review maintenance, safety, and care considerations. Follow-up visits are necessary to guarantee that the equipment maintains a proper fit in case of growth or medical changes.

Our Team:

The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) Seating and Mobility Clinic is staffed by physical and occupational therapists who are certified Assistive Technology Professionals and Seating and Mobility Specialists by RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America), and have special training in seating issues and technologies. Our clinic consists of an interdisciplinary team that brings together the collective expertise of our physicians, and physical and occupational therapists.

Contacts:

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT:
A referral is requested for assessment in the Seating and Mobility Clinic. Patients can request a referral by consulting their primary care physicians or a specialist. This type of treatment is often covered by medical insurance.

For more information or to make an appointment:
Call: (443) 923-7960

Primary Diagnoses Served:

  • Traumatic spinal cord injury
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Spina bifida
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal tumors
  • Other musculoskeletal diagnoses
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