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Understanding the Role of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Care of Patients with Tumor Causing Spinal Cord Dysfunction

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Purpose of Review

People with tumor (benign or malignant)-causing spinal cord dysfunction (SCDys) present many rehabilitation challenges. These patients have varying prognoses and complications related to their spinal cord damage. This review highlights the role of rehabilitation medicine in the care of patients with tumor-causing spinal cord dysfunction.

Recent Findings

People with SCDys due to tumor can face barriers in accessing specialist spinal cord rehabilitation, especially those with malignant tumor. Evidence supports the admission of people with SCDys due to tumor into specialist spinal rehabilitation units as the ideal setting for inpatient rehabilitation. Once in the community, these people have an ongoing need for access to specialist spinal rehabilitation.


A framework and practical considerations for managing people with SCDys due to tumor are proposed. Patients with tumor-causing SCDys should be given a greater access to specialist spinal rehabilitation in order to achieve the best outcomes.

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Correspondence to Peter Wayne New.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Cancer Rehabilitation

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New, P.W. Understanding the Role of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Care of Patients with Tumor Causing Spinal Cord Dysfunction. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep 5, 40–45 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40141-017-0142-0

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  • Delivery of health care
  • Neoplasms
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord diseases
  • Spinal cord injury