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Welcome to Heidelberg University Hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Center at the Department of Orthopedics

Professor Norbert Weidner

The Spinal Cord Injury Center at Heidelberg University Hospital is one of a kind in Germany. We are the only academic center in Germany that is uniquely dedicated to the treatment and research of spinal cord injury and its consequences, as well as teaching in this specialty. In addition, we are an internationally acclaimed center for out-patient and in-patient treatment of patients with spinal cord injuries.

We treat patients with:

  • traumatic spinal cord injury (for example, after a motor vehicle accident)
  • non-traumatic spinal cord injury (for example, as the result of a tumor, inflammation or stroke)
  • acute and chronic consequences of spinal cord injury (for example, pressure sores, spasticity, pain, bladder or bowel dysfunction)

Every year, our staff of 145 cares for around 1,500 patients with acute or chronic spinal cord injury, of whom approx. 1,000 receive out-patient care. The Spinal Cord Injury Center has 62 beds in wheelchair-accessible one- to three-bed rooms with modern furnishings as well as a bathroom and shower. If desired, family members may be accommodated directly at the center or at the adjacent Kurt Lindemann House, a special facility for the rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

We offer:

  • Competent treatment by our experienced interdisciplinary treatment team. You will receive care from neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, urologists, rehabilitation specialists, internal medicine specialists, anesthesiologists, radiologists and general practitioners along with our specially trained nurses, technical orthopedists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists and psychologists.
  • Comprehensive care under one roof. The close proximity to the trauma and spine surgery unit within Heidelberg University Hospital’s Department of Orthopedics allows rapid surgical treatment, for instance, to stabilize or decompress the spine.
  • Top-quality treatment according to international standards and the latest research findings
  • A combination of clinical care and intensive research, especially in the areas of neurorehabilitation and neuroregeneration
  • clinical studies investigating novel rehabilitative and regenerative therapies
  • A comprehensive rehabilitation program, including physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, treadmill training including Lokomat, wheelchair training and introduction to wheelchair related sports activities.

At our center’s research department, physicians and scientists develop innovative neurorehabilitative and regenerative therapeutic concepts. On the international level, our team works with leading spinal cord injury centers and research institutions.

Some examples of our patient-oriented research projects:

  • Neuroprosthetic devices for the upper extremities (e.g. OrthoJacket), which are controlled by the residual function of the arm or shoulder, as well as by the brain-computer interface
  • Activitiy-based rehabilitation therapy procedures supported by training devices. The goal is to restore walking/standing function and arm/hand function in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury.
  • Therapies to regenerate the injured spinal cord (e.g. cell transplantation, biomaterials, gene therapy) are developed in the laboratory and screened for efficacy in patients..

Professor Norbert Weidner
Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Center
Heidelberg University Hospital Department of Orthopedics

More detailed information is available at our homepage (in German).