A primary care provider’s guide to pediatric spinal cord injuries

Kathy Zebracki, Michelle Melicosta, Cody Unser, Lawrence C. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spinal cord injury (SCI) in youth presents with unique manifestations and complications as compared to adult-onset SCI. The primary care clinician must consider the physical, physiological, cognitive, and psychological changes transpiring during childhood and adolescence. Physical changes include increasing size, weight, and bladder volume. Physiologic considerations include decreasing heart rate and increasing blood pressure with age. Cognitive issues include communication, executive functioning, and self-management skills. Lastly, psychological processes involve emotional functioning and establishment of self-identify and autonomy in the context of life with SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive
  • Pediatrics
  • Physiological
  • Primary care
  • Psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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