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Spinal Cord Injury and the Family


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Table of Contents

* Foreword by Cindy and Ted Purcell * Abbreviations * Introduction to Spinal Cord Injury * Early Days: The ER, Rehab, and Beyond * Adjusting to SCI: The Return Home * Back to Productivity: Work, School, and Play * Dating after SCI: Out and About * Sexual Function after SCI: The Next Challenge * Couples and Relationship Issues: Making It Work * Fertility and Pregnancy: The Possibilities * Parenting with SCI: Moms and Dads on Wheels * Children and Adolescents with SCI: The Next Generation * Medical Complications of SCI: Do's and Don'ts * Appendix: Spinal Cord Injury by the Numbers * Resources * Suggested Reading * Acknowledgments * Index

About the Author

Michelle J. Alpert, M.D., is Director of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, and Clinical Instructor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School. She was the founder and first director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Saul Wisnia is Senior Publications Editor/Writer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the author of numerous books.


In 2006, it was estimated that approximately 11,000 Americans sustained traumatic spinal-cord injuries (SCI) each year; that number is much higher now with injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Physiatrist Alpert has compiled a timely and basic guide for SCI patients and their families, covering a multitude of important issues from basic spine anatomy, how injuries occur, and the impact of the injury's location to the first days after an injury, the emotional turmoil of the patient and family, and adjusting to work or school. Relationship issues, including dating, sex, fertility and pregnancy, and parenting, are painted in reassuring terms. Children with spinal cord injuries garner a separate chapter, as do the medical complications and challenges of SCI. This excellent overview with an emphasis on the physical effects of SCI will be invaluable to a growing, currently underserved audience. -- Janet M. Schneider Library Journal (starred review) 20080415 Offers practical advice on dealing with the emotional turmoil that patients and families face as they make adjustments for work, school, dating, pregnancy, parenting, and other life events. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone touched by spinal cord injury. -- L. N. Massengale Choice 20081201

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