Appendix I


Self Care After Rehabilitation by Level of Injury

You may have questions about what you will eventually be able to do for yourself. This information is provided as a guideline for what most patients with a given level of injury will be able to do. Keep in mind that your individual situation may very.

Dependent means needing someone to assist you.

Independent means not needing someone to assist you.


SPINAL
CORD
LEVEL

FEEDING

DRESSING

BLADDER and BOWELS

MOBILITY


C1-3
Dependent
Dependent
Dependent
Electronically controlled electric wheelchair. Can use sip and puff or head control.
C4 Dependent Dependent Dependent Same as above and can also use chin switch.
C5 Self feeding with set up and use of adaptive equipment. Assistance with upper body dressing. Dependent with lower body dressing. Dependent Power wheelchair, joystick hand control, high back, seat belt, cushion, removable desk arms.
C6 Independent with the use of adaptive equipment. Independent with upper body dressing. Needs help with lower body dressing. Dependent Power wheelchair, joystick hand control, high back, seat belt, cushion, removable desk arms, modified van lift, hand controls.
C7 Independent with the use of adaptive equipment. Potential for independence with
the use of adaptive equipment.
Bladder: Independent
to some assistance.
Manual wheelchair, removable desk arms, brake extensions, modified hand rims, modified van with transfer board, hand controls.
C8 and below, including: Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral Independent Independent Bladder: Independent with intermittent cath. Bowel: Independent with digital stimulation. Manual wheelchair, independent in car, unloading wheelchair, hand controls.


Adaptive Equipment that can assist in self-care independence may include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Bath bench
  • Button hook
  • Doorknob extension
  • Dressing Stick
  • Elastic shoe laces/Velcro
  • Environmental Control Units (Computer that helps to turn on and off equipment such as nurse call light, TV, radio,fan)
  • Leg lifter
  • Long handle shoe horn
  • Long handle sponge
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Reacher

Publication of this educational booklet is made possible in part by the generous support of the following sponsors:

  • Metronic
  • Stryker
  • DePuy Spine
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles