• Garcia RA, Gaebler-Spira D, Sisung C and Heinemann AW (2002). Functional improvement after pediatric spinal cord injury. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 81 (6): 458-63. Summary: Garcia RA, Gaebler-Spira D, Sisung C, Heinemann AW: Functional improvement after pediatric spinal cord injury. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2002;81:458-463. OBJECTIVE: To describe the functional gain (FGain) with pediatric spinal cord injury inpatient rehabilitation and to identify the relationship of various factors to FGain in pediatric spinal cord injury inpatient rehabilitation. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review of a series of 91 children with spinal cord injury admitted from 1993 to 1998 in a freestanding rehabilitation hospital. Admission and discharge functional status were assessed with the Pediatric Functional Independence Measure (WeeFIMtrade mark) instrument for children </=7 yr and the Adult Functional Independence Measure [FIMtrade mark) instrument for children >7 yr. The outcome measure is the FGain (difference between the discharge and admission functional status). RESULTS: Significant gains in functional status were observed in all patients. FGain was not significantly related to age, sex, length of inpatient rehabilitation, pathogenesis, or completeness or neurologic level of injury. However, there was a trend for higher FGain for patients with incomplete spinal cord injury and traumatic spinal cord injury. CONCLUSIONS: Functional improvement occurs with pediatric spinal cord injury inpatient rehabilitation. There is a trend for higher FGain in patients with less severe injury and traumatic injury. The lack of relationship between FGain and length of inpatient rehabilitation suggests that a variety of other factors influence the relationship between FGain and length of inpatient rehabilitation. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Illinois.