Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Care
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, disabling disease of the central nervous system that attacks and damages the protective sheath covering the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, electrical signals from the brain are slowed or blocked from reaching the eyes, muscles, and other parts of the body.
At Rusk, a team of highly trained professionals provides our clients who have MS with continuous and comprehensive care in a variety of settings. As you begin your rehabilitation program, you will have the opportunity to meet with all the various members of your medical team. Each one of these team members is an important player in developing a plan of care that will meet your medical, social, and personal needs. At the same time, you along with your family, caregivers, and friends are all key members of the rehabilitation team as well. We believe strongly that the success of this team approach begins with you, the patient.
Read the story of a patient who has gone through Rusk's Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Program.
Expert Physicians in MS Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation team operates under the leadership and direction of an attending physiatrist (rehabilitation physician) from the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Our physicians are highly trained and experienced in addressing the deficits associated with MS. Like the rest of their rehabilitation team, they are committed to providing the very finest patient care - which includes researching the causes and potential cures for MS and similar diseases, educating tomorrow's healthcare professionals, and reaching out to the communities of the patients we serve. Learn more about the physicians in our Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation program:
- Jung Ahn, MD
- Jeffrey Cohen, MD
- Joan Gold, MD (pediatric MS)
- Valery Lanyi, MD
- Renat Sukhov, MD (pediatric MS)
Rusk’s MS Rehabilitation Services includes both Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs, Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs , and Community Reintegration.
Inpatient Rehabilitation for MS
Rusk’s inpatient rehabilitation setting is designed to offer MS patients a comprehensive hospital stay, during which we provide a very high degree of coordinated medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services (which can then extend to the patient’s home and community following discharge). During their inpatient stay, patients are treated by a team of clinicians that is supervised and coordinated by the attending physician. This team may include professionals from some or all of the following areas: Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, Social Work, and Therapeutic Recreation.
Specialized MS inpatient rehabilitation services include:
- medical intervention through a combination of therapy treatments
- rehabilitation nursing services designed to provide comprehensive clinical care
- infusions of specialty medications, and
- patient and family education
In addition to these core services, we offer integrated, team-orientated rehabilitation. This involves:
- at least three hours each day of physical, occupational, and recreational therapies
- speech-language pathology and swallowing services
- life skills support
- psychology services including neuropsychological assessment, and
- psychotherapy services as needed
Rusk’s Social Work Services division also provides extensive patient and family education and caregiver support, as well as supportive and educational counseling designed to maximize the patient’s re-integration into the community.
Outpatient Rehabilitation for MS
Rusk’s outpatient rehabilitation services are designed to help our clients continue progressing towards their individual goals while living as members of the community. To achieve these goals, clients and therapists work together to improve the client’s physical capabilities and functional skills. In order to maximize each client’s independence and safety in the community, the various therapists and other professionals at Rusk may also offer input on possible modifications to the home, school, work, and/or recreational environments. For example, they may suggest installing a wheelchair ramp or extra handrail on stairways to assist the client in climbing stairs, or recommend strategies to help the client conserve energy throughout the day.
Departments that offer outpatient services for MS patients include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, and Vocational Rehabilitation. In addition to one-on-one therapies, some departments also offer treatment in group settings.
In addition to MS Rehabilitation Services provided at Rusk, the MS Care Center at NYU Langone’s Hospital for Joint Diseases also offers comprehensive care for individuals with MS.
Once the client is back living in the community, the process of community re-entry or re-integration begins. In this phase, therapists work with the client to help develop the skills needed to fully participate in activities at home, work or school, or in recreational settings. During this process, as with other aspects of rehabilitation, the patient is at the center of our multidisciplinary team approach. We understand that each person with MS faces unique challenges, and that patients may need to re-learn skills or learn new ones in order to return to the activities of daily living. Throughout the process of community re-entry, the focus of the Rusk team is always on what patients can do, not what they can’t. Our philosophy is to help rebuild lives around abilities, rather than disabilities.