Brain Injury Rehabilitation

UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital

Main Phone Number:

(608) 592-8100

Admissions Coordinator:

(608) 592-8111

Admissions Fax:

(888) 780-3389

5115 N. Biltmore Lane

Madison, Wisconsin 53718

Our Brain Injury unit at the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, is dedicated to the treatment and recovery of individuals with mild to severe brain injury. Our state-of-the-art, secure, self-contained unit offers highly specialized care for patients with neuro-cognitive and functional deficits related to traumatic or non-traumatic brain injuries.


Our brain injury team provides multi-disciplinary and dedicated expertise to patients and families in a safe, secured and dedicated environment.


What is brain injury?


A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force traumatically injures the brain. Permanent changes in physical, cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral functions often occur.


Brain injuries can sometimes be caused even without a traumatic event. Sometimes a lack of oxygen or blood to the brain or certain metabolic processes can cause a non-traumatic brain injury. The effects of brain damage are generally greatest immediately following the injury. Though there is not a way to reverse these injuries, rehabilitation allows many people with a brain injury to lead productive, independent lives.


Common Functional Problems Treated

  • The inability to walk
  • Weakness or loss of limb movement
  • Difficulty with coordination or balance
  • Difficulty moving from one surface to another (e.g., from the bed to a chair or from a chair to the tub)
  • The inability to control bowel or bladder function
  • Difficulty with everyday activities such as eating, grooming, dressing, bathing or household chores
  • The inability to swallow
  • Problems with memory, thought processes, decision-making or reasoning
  • Difficulty communicating with others
  • Emotional problems associated with serious illness or injury
  • The inability to pursue recreational activities

Specialized Facilities for Brain Injuries

Key features of the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital Brain Injury Unit include:

  • Electronically controlled access
  • Environmentally modified rooms for limited distraction
  • Video monitoring capabilities for patients with an increased safety risk
  • Treatment areas designed and used only for patients with brain injury

Admission Criteria


The Brain Injury Program is designed to benefit those:

  • Who have a brain injury and must be physically impaired with or without cognitive problems, as well as able to benefit from a structured rehabilitation program
  • Who are medically stable, not ventilator dependent, and able to participate in full rehabilitation program
  • Who are able to achieve new goals and further improve physical or cognitive status

Brain Injury Treatment

Enabling the patient to improve physically and cognitively requires the collaboration of the brain injury treatment team. Many physicians, medical specialists, advisors and support professionals work together to help every individual with brain injury work toward his or her recovery and make the transition to home and the community. The patient's family members are encouraged to participate in rehabilitation.


All inpatient treatment is provided in the Brain Injury Unit. The team members monitor each patient's rehabilitation progress and meet regularly with the patient's family to provide progress updates.


Education and skills taught in the Brain Injury Program include:

  • Motor skills
  • Eating and swallowing
  • Communication skills
  • Cognition
  • Perception
  • Behavior control
  • Self-care
  • Adjustment to the effects of brain injury
  • Nutrition
  • Family education
  • Community reintegration


We are committed to helping individuals with brain injury and their families re-learn old skills and understand and adjust to the effects of brain injury on emotions, memory, cognition and motor skills. Individual or group assistance is provided, and educational literature is available.


The Transition to Home

Adjusting to a post-injury lifestyle takes time and requires support. At the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital, we provide a variety of facilities and programs to make that adjustment as easy as possible. We help each patient set reasonable short- and long-term goals. We also offer a furnished apartment that is used to teach patients with specific needs how to adjust to the routines and pleasures of daily living.


Discharge Planning and Follow-Up

To ensure each patient's progress after he or she leaves the medical center, our rehabilitation staff coordinates services such as outpatient therapy, residential treatment or home therapy. We also make referrals to local, state and federal agencies for vocational opportunities, support groups and financial assistance.


Brain Injury Information and Community Resources


Brain Injury Alliance of Wisconsin

Traumatic Brain Injury

UW Health Sports Concussion Rehabilitation Clinic