Dr Craven leads the production of the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI)-sponsored E-scan atlas “Capturing Capacity in Canadian SCI Rehabilitation” and the “Spinal Cord Injury: a Manifesto for Change(link is external)“. She has been the Scientific Co-chair of the 1-6th Canadian National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Conference. In recognition of her remarkable professional achievements, Dr. Craven was presented with the University of Toronto, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Innovator of the Year Award in 2011 and the achievement award in 2014. She is also the chair of the RHI Care Committee.
Dr. Craven’s clinical and research expertise is in the prevention and treatment of secondary health conditions among people living with spinal cord injury (SCI), with a focus on sublesional osteoporosis (SLOP), the interrelationships between body composition and multimorbidity of chronic disease, and health service provision.
SLOP is a disease process unique to patients with traumatic SCI characterized by excessive bone resorption, regional declines in bone mineral density (BMD) and bone quality (architecture and strength) of the hips and knee regions, thereby increasing the propensity for lower extremity fragility fracture. One in ten people with SCI report lower extremity fractures in the last year, with a persisting five-year increase in mortality following the fracture. Fractures increase patient morbidity due to complications of fracture immobilization (i.e. heel ulcer or deep venous thrombosis) and often results in delayed union or non-union, which temporarily decreases the person’s functional abilities and increases their attendant care needs.
The primary aim of my research is to reduce fracture occurrence and the fracture related morbidity and mortality among patients with SCI.