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Cristina L. Sadowsky, M.D.
Clinical Director, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Expertise: Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury, Spinal Cord Dysfunction, Spinal Cord Injury, Spinal Cord Trauma, Traumatic and Non-traumatic Spinal Cord Injury ...read more
Research Interests: Efficacy of activity-based restoration therapies in helping individuals with long-term spinal cord injury and paralysis recover sensation, movement and independence; Prevention of complications in patients with paralysis ...read more
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Appointment Phone: 443-923-9230
801 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Contact for Research Inquiries
Kennedy Krieger Institute
716 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Dr. Cristina L. Sadowsky is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of clinical expertise include spinal cord injury and paralysis restoration.
Dr. Sadowsky is also a founder and the clinical director of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. This program was built on the philosophy that functional restoration is possible for a long time after an injury, utilizing structured medico-rehabilitative interventions through activity-based restorative therapies (ABRT).
She serves as a section editor for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports and is a recurrent invited reviewer for several peer-reviewed medical journals and government and privately funded competitive grant awards for spinal cord injury related research.
Dr. Sadowsky has organized numerous courses and seminars, and has been invited to lecture in different universities and at national and international meetings, such as the American Academy of PM&R, American Spinal Cord Injury Association, International Spinal Cord Society and many more. She has published several manuscripts in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals and chapters in prominent specialty books.
- Clinical Director, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute
- Director, Paralysis Restoration Clinic, Kennedy Krieger Institute
- Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Centers & Institutes
Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 1997, Physical medicine and rehabilitation; Mediai Huron Hospital / Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 1994, Internal medicine
Research & Publications
Dr. Sadowsky’s research focuses on prevention of complications in patients with paralysis and the efficacy of activity-based restoration therapies in helping individuals with long-term spinal cord injury and paralysis recover sensation, movement and independence.
Selected PublicationsView all on Pubmed
Wang KY, Idowu O, Thompson CB, Orman G, Myers C, Riley LH 3rd, Carrino JA, Flammang A, Gilson W, Sadowsky CL, Izbudak I. Tract-Specific Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Before and After Decompressive Spinal Surgery: Preliminary Results. Clin Neuroradiol. 2017 Mar;27(1):61-69. doi: 10.1007/s00062-015-0418-7. PMID: 26104273
Dolbow DR, Gorgey AS, Recio AC, Stiens SA, Curry AC, Sadowsky CL, Gater DR, Martin R, McDonald JW. Activity-Based Restorative Therapies after Spinal Cord Injury: Inter-institutional conceptions and perceptions. Aging Dis. 2015 Aug 1;6(4):254-61. doi: 10.14336/AD.2014.1105. Review. PMID: 26236547
Calhoun Thielen C, Sadowsky C, Vogel LC, Taylor H, Davidson L, Bultman J, Gaughan J, Mulcahey MJ. Evaluation of the Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury II (WISCI-II) in children with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Spinal Cord. 2016 Oct 18. doi: 10.1038/sc.2016.142. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27752056
Selvarajah S, Haider AH, Schneider EB, Sadowsky CL, Becker D, Hammond ER. Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Emergency Service Triage Patterns and the Associated Emergency Department Outcomes. J Neurotrauma. 2015 Dec 15;32(24):2008-16. doi: 10.1089/neu.2015.4016. PMID: 26102350
Hammond ER, Metcalf HM, McDonald JW, Sadowsky CL. Bone mass in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury: associations with activity-based therapy, neurologic and functional status, a retrospective study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Dec;95(12):2342-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.07.395. PMID: 25083557
Academic Affiliations & Courses
Courses and Syllabi
Program Director Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
2007 - 2016
Activities & Honors
- Best Doctors in America, 2007
- America's Top Physicians, 2009 - 2011
- Top Doctors in Baltimore, 2007
- Outstanding Performance Award from the Spinal Cord Injury Board, Washington University School of Medicine, 2000
- Best Teaching Attending of the Year, Washington University School of Medicine, 1999
- Best Resident of the Year in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Washington University School of Medicine, 1998
- Outstanding Resident Award in Medicine, Meridia Huron Hospital, 1995
- American Medical Association, 1991
- American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1996
- American Paraplegia Society, 1999
- Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2000
- Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, 2000
- International Society for Clinical Densitometry, 2005
- Maryland State Medical Society Med Chi, 2005 - 2016
- American Spinal Cord Injury Association, 2011
- International Spinal Cord Association, 2011
- American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2013
- Section Editor Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports
- Reviewer, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2001
- Reviewer, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2003
- Reviewer, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 2006
- Co-chair, Pediatric Networking Group, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2015
- Board member, Department of Veteran Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service (RR&D) Scientific Merit Review Board
Videos & Media
Bone Density and Rehabilitation Approaches for Paralysis
Understanding Activity-Based Rehabilitation
Recent News Articles and Media Coverage
Think Safety Before Diving In | Chicago Tribune (July 2009)
Hope | In Your Own Words (June 2014)
Bent Out of Shape: What About Contractures? | New Mobility (March 2015)
Two years after paralyzing accident, skydiver jumps again | Chicago Tribune (July 2016)