BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Why choose us for spinal trauma care? 

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. We are home to the nation’s first Level I Trauma Center. This prestigious designation from the American Trauma Society recognizes our ability to deliver any emergency treatment a patient may need. We can handle the most complex forms of spinal trauma any time, day or night. 

Highlights of our program include: 

  • Expertise: We are the region’s largest trauma center, offering a depth of experience that leads to timely, appropriate care. Orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons with advanced training use the latest techniques to assess and treat spinal trauma. Additional specialists are available on short notice, including anesthesiologists and neuroradiologists. 

  • Connected and comprehensive care: We deliver world-class spinal trauma services and a seamless experience. From our emergency department to the intensive care unit and outpatient care, the same team of spine experts guides your care. We take extra steps to ensure smooth transitions between inpatient care settings and rehabilitation.

  • Compassion: Experiencing spinal trauma can be scary for you and your loved ones. We provide heartfelt support that helps you feel cared for every step of the way. Whether it’s explaining treatments or preparing for what’s next, we give you the time and attention you deserve.

  • Life-changing care and research: Our approach to spinal rehabilitation (rehab) helps some people with spinal cord injuries recover movement and sensation. We have researchers who are developing external spinal cord stimulation devices. Their work can potentially improve quality of life for even more patients.

Emergency spinal trauma services

The emergency spinal trauma services that are right for you depend on the location and severity of your injury. We quickly determine your needs and deliver timely, appropriate therapies.

Emergency spinal trauma services may include:

  • Transfer to our Level I trauma center: If your care journey starts at another hospital, an ambulance transfers you by ground or helicopter.

  • Expedited spine imaging: Our emergency department has two full-body CT scanners, enabling us to capture images quickly and accurately diagnose your injury.

  • Surgical stabilization of the spine: This procedure may involve removing bone fragments, foreign objects or damaged spine structures.

  • Spinal fusion: Surgeons create additional spine stability by permanently joining (fusing) vertebrae using bone tissue or surgical cement and hardware.

  • Intensive care (ICU): You start your recovery in our ICU, where care may include medications to relieve pain, bracing or a harness to limit movement and a ventilator.

  • Nerve transfer: You may receive this treatment later in your recovery. It involves transferring a healthy nerve to your injury site to enhance movement and sensation.

Spinal trauma conditions we treat

We offer a depth of experience in treating spine and spinal cord injuries, such as:

  • Broken back

  • Complete spinal cord injury

  • Incomplete spinal cord injury

  • Spinal fracture

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Sport injuries causing spinal trauma

Spinal rehabilitation

A spinal cord injury, broken neck or back may cause temporary or permanent changes to your abilities. Rehabilitation helps you regain the highest level of functioning. We offer inpatient and outpatient services where highly skilled rehab therapists help you reach your goals. Case managers and social workers provide additional support, making it easier to focus on getting better.

Spinal rehabilitation may include:

Special exercises

We guide you through activities appropriate for your abilities to build strength and balance.

Assisted mobility devices

We use harnesses and technologies to help you walk and move your upper limbs.

Wheelchair evaluation and training

If you need a wheelchair, we help you get the right one for your needs and show you how to use it.

Occupational therapy

Therapists show you special techniques for completing everyday activities like getting dressed. They may recommend adaptive equipment to assist you.

Family support

We provide family caregiver training to help loved ones support you in navigating your home and community.

Home assessments and modifications

Therapists provide recommendations for durable medical equipment that creates a safe home environment.

Spinal Trauma News & Resources

Schedule your appointment

 Call (314) 362-9355 or (800) 392-0936 to schedule your appointment with a specialist.

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