Interdisciplinary management of hemicorporectomy after spinal cord injury

Stephen M. Tuel, Leland L. Cross, Jay M. Meythaler, Thomas E. Faisant, Sheila R. Krajnik, Patricia Hogan, Laurie Sewell, Brenda Wilson, David W. Rodwell, Jay Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Hemicorporectomy (HCP) is infrequently used, but its effects can devastate the patient's body image, autonomic function, and physical abilities even more than a spinal cord injury of comparable level. Interdisciplinary management is of the utmost importance. This report describes the 2 year course, including four separate rehabilitation admissions, of a patient who was initially paraplegic, and then underwent a HCP for complications secondary to a cauda equina ependymoma. The patient's expectations for functions for functional independence were established by his successful initial spinal cord rehabilitation. The HCP was performed 6 months after initial discharge secondary to infected Harrington rods and rapid spread of the tumor. Extensive use of the interdisciplinary team approach allowed comprehensive analysis and treatment of the patient's comfort, mobility, skin tolerance, and upper extremity functional abilities. Four successive prostheses were developed and modified, until all concerns were successfully addressed. The patient ultimately became completely independent at the wheelchair level. The evaluations, treatment plan, and emphasis of each discipline, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation nursing, therapeutic recreation, social work, vocational rehabilitation, and physiatry are summarized. Differences between the patient's course and standard spinal cord rehabilitation are detailed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-673
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Amputation
  • Hemicorporectomy
  • Interdisciplinary health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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