Current Research Studies

5. Title: Determinants of Upper Extremity Functional Capabilities in Tetraplegia

Purpose: This study is intended to enhance the understanding of what constitutes a clinically meaningful change in upper extremity neurological function after cervical spinal cord injury. We will examine relationships among neurologic function, upper extremity capabilities, use of adaptive equipment, and performance of self-care and fine motor skills.

Study Requirements: You will be asked to complete three testing sessions lasting up to 30 minutes each. The first testing session will be around the time of rehabilitation discharge, the second session will be 3 months later, and the third session will be around 1 year post-injury.

Each session will consist of the 1) Capabilities of Upper Extremity Questionnaire (CUE-Q); 2) Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index (SCI-FI); and 3) Spinal Cord Injury Functional Index Assistive Technology (SCI-FI/AT).

The 5 key upper extremity muscles of the ISNCSCI motor examination will be completed at discharge and at 1 year post-injury if you are not enrolled in our National Database Study (which collects this data). The 3 month post-discharge upper extremity muscle exam is optional for subjects who are able to have this assessment in person.

Eligibility Criteria for Study:

  • Be undergoing acute inpatient rehabilitation.
  • Have sustained a traumatic cervical SCI.
  • Have an upper extremity motor score of ≥1 using the ISNCSCI.
  • Have motor levels C1 - C8, AIS A - D.
  • Be available for follow-up.
  • Be at least 15 years of age.

Exclusion Criteria for Study:

  • Associated injuries that limit sitting or use of their arms or hands (fractures, other nerve injuries).
  • Cognitive problems that would make it difficult to follow the testing instructions.

Principle Investigator:Ralph J. Marino, MD

Status: Enrolling

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