Elizabeth Koch, DPT
Physical Therapist, Minneapolis VA Medical Center
Translational Medicine: Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation from Research to the Clinic (with Ann Goding Miller, DPT)
Epidural spinal cord stimulation has become available to spinal cord injury population at the Minneapolis VA. In collaboration with the Abbott rep, other physical therapists, physicians, neurosurgeons and occupational therapists, the Minneapolis VA SCI/D center was able to provide this specialized service through an interdisciplinary team bringing optimization and rehabilitation to the clinic. Through training, research and clinical expertise, the physical therapy team has been able to provide this optimization, providing individualized programming configurations and parameters based on the veteran’s response and ability to participate in inpatient or outpatient therapies. Veterans are provided with extensive education regarding the stimulator; and patient, family and the interdisciplinary team participated in discussions to manage expectations pre- and post- implantation. Additionally, given the hub and spoke model of the VA SCID centers, veterans were able to carry out further physical therapy and work towards their goals after discharge.
Elizabeth Koch is a physical therapist at the Minneapolis VA Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center. She has been a physical therapist for nearly 9 years, graduating from St. Catherine University. Elizabeth is a Neurologic Clinical Specialist and is also a Clinical Contract Trainer for Ekso Bionics.