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SCI Checklists

Routine care for spinal cord injury patients

This is a suggested list of things people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) should do to help maintain their health. This guideline is not intended to represent everything that every person with SCI might need. It should more appropriately be used as a reference for the minimal standard of routine follow-up for healthy spinal cord-injured patients.


  • Self skin checks

Things to do every year

  • Check weight and blood pressure
  • Flu immunization, especially for T8 and higher

Things to do at least every 2-3 years with SCI specialist/team*

  • Full history and physical review with physician*
  • Assess equipment and posture*
  • Assess range of motion, contractures, and functional status*
  • Urologic assessment, upper-lower tracts**
  • Full skin evaluation*

Things to do at least every 5 years with SCI specialist/team

  • Motor and sensory testing
  • Review changes in life situation, including coping, adjustment, life satisfaction

Things to do every 10 years

  • Pneumococcal pneuomonia vaccination at earliest opportunity, especially for T8 and higher

*Assessment done annually for the first 3-5 years after injury, until health is established
** Do annually for the first 3 years after any major change in urologic management."

Lammertse D., Maintaining Health Long-Term with Spinal Cord Injury. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation: Aging with Spinal Cord Injury. Kemp B., Issue Ed., David Apple, Ed., Vol 6, No. 5, Winter, 2001 pp. 15-17