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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

“I Was Moving My Arm More After My Stroke, But Was Nowhere Near 100%… I Wondered If This Was Going To Be Permanent…”

Acute, inpatient treatment by neuroscience specialists for a debilitating disease like stroke, head bleed, or traumatic brain injury is only half the battle. Studies have shown there is a crucial period after hospitalization where aggressive physical therapy and rehabilitation can make the difference between living with permanent deficits or recovering function. While not every patient can fully recover from a disabling injury, the goal of the West Jefferson Rehabilitation Center at the LCMC Health Neuroscience Institute is to give each person the best, state-of-the-art, evidence-based care to maximize their potential for improvement.

Why Choose The West Jefferson Rehabilitation Center At The LCMC Heath Neuroscience Institute?

“It sounded like going to boot camp, but it meant being able to move myself instead of being moved…”

Our Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team helps patients disabled from brain and spine injury through targeted inpatient rehabilitation therapy; typically three hours per day, five days per week. Our goal is to improve physical function and facilitate a safe transition home through intense therapy that will make patients stronger, safer, and improve overall endurance.

We are the only Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredited inpatient rehabilitation program on the West Bank specializing in general rehab, stroke, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputation, cardiac and respiratory conditions. We are also the only rehabilitation program to offer intrathecal baclofen and intramuscular botulinum toxin (Botox) spasticity treatment for abnormal muscle tightness from prolonged muscle contractions frequently experienced in brain, spinal cord, and neurological conditions.

In addition to care for patients at our facility, our rehab specialists may help assess your home to see if it’s safe and accessible for you. They will determine whether you will be able to easily navigate around your home, if safety improvements are necessary, and if you need special devices and equipment to make your day-to-day activities more effortless. Our rehab team will assist in arranging help from family, friends, or care providers to aid with your day-to-day needs. We will also educate your care providers about how to safely meet your mobility and healthcare needs at home.

Our Patient Experience Is What Sets Us Apart – Everything You Need For Recovery Can Be Found Here

When patients choose the West Jefferson Rehabilitation Center at the LCMC Health Neuroscience Institute, all services and healthcare providers are immediately available to optimize recovery. Any imaging, testing, or laboratory studies fall under one roof, which means you’ll never be transferred out to another hospital for these services. We are deeply proud of our outstanding, committed staff who go above and beyond to make sure every patient gets the rehab they need, even when that means after-hours care, or working with your insurance company to find the most cost-effective treatment options for your situation.

Our comprehensive team approach includes rehabilitation Doctors (known as Physiatrists), Physical Therapists (PT), Occupational Therapists (OT), Speech Therapists (ST), rehabilitation nurses, and social workers. In addition to rehabilitation therapy, we also provide equipment evaluation to make everyday activities easier and safer. We also provide home evaluation and family training to facilitate a safe and successful transition to daily living.

Stroke Rehabilitation

“I knew people who recovered from stroke, but also knew people who were completely dependent…”

Stroke can be a overwhelming occurrence for both a patient and their family. Most commonly, strokes occur due to a blockage in the vessels providing blood flow to the brain. Strokes can also be due to damaged vessels bleeding into the brain, which is less frequent but equally devastating. While medicine has become better at detecting and treating stroke, it remains an injury that can be life changing.

Vascular Neurologists (specialty-trained stroke doctors) recognize that dedicated, inpatient rehabilitation is as important as the acute management of stroke in a patient’s recovery from significant stroke.

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

“After the accident, I worried about being able to do anything at all…”

Your spinal cord runs from your brain down to your lower back. Your brain sends messages out to your body through your spinal cord telling your body to pick up a cup, or walk to the mailbox. Messages travel from your arms, legs, and the rest of your body back to your brain through your spinal cord which convey sensations of touch, temperature, or pain.

A spinal cord injury can prevent your brain and body from communicating normally. If you’ve had a spinal cord injury, you may need surgery or other treatments to help stabilize your spinal injury.

After a spinal injury and stabilization, you may be at risk for complications, including:

  • Pressure injuries
  • Breathing problems and pneumonia
  • A drop in blood pressure when you move around
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Blood clots
  • Pain
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Reproductive and sexual function problems
  • Depression and/or Anxiety

Rehabilitation can help to improve these complications, as well as regain function that the injury took away. The tasks you will work on in rehabilitation depend on the type of injury that occurred. You may need to re-learn things such as how to control your body, use a wheelchair / walker, or work around functional deficits.

What Happens During Rehab From Spinal Cord Injury?

Your rehabilitation care team will discuss what to expect in recovery over the short-term and long-term. Your individual results will depend on the type and severity of the injury, and what strength you have below the injured spinal cord level. While in rehab, your providers may help you with tasks, such as:

  • Moving around – Depending on your injury, you may be able to walk with a cane, walker, braces, or you may require a wheelchair. You will learn to best use these mobility devices.
  • Dealing with complications – If your injury caused many changes in the way your body works, your rehab providers will teach you how to prevent and treat complications. You may need a specialist to treat complications if your bowel and bladder function is not normal.
  • Doing things in a different way – Your providers may teach you how to get in and out of a car, roll over in bed, bathe, and do other daily activities that allow you to be more independent.

Individual therapists may work with you on specific tasks, including activities of daily living like eating, dressing, and grooming. As an example, Occupational Therapy may help you with homemaking, caretaking, and/or job-related functions.

Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation

“After the accident, I wondered if he would be the same again…”

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden injury such as blunt trauma from an accident causes damage to your brain. TBI can occur due to direct injury to the brain from damage to the skull, known as penetrating head injury, or due to an injury causing the brain to impact the sides of the skull without injury to the bone, known as a closed head injury. Both can be serious and life-altering injuries, making both immediate in-hospital management and rehabilitation care crucial to optimize recovery.

What Happens During Rehabilitation From Traumatic Brain Injury?

Our rehabilitation team includes multiple Certified Brain Injury Specialists who focus on the following goals:

  • Improving your ability to function at home and in your community
  • Helping treat the mental and physical problems caused by TBI
  • Providing social and emotional support
  • Helping you adapt to changes as they occur during your recovery
  • Promoting lifestyle changes to reduce future risk of TBI
  • Providing assistive technology where applicable

While many consider rehabilitation as focusing on correcting what has been lost in terms of function, specialty care can take many forms depending on your needs. It might include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as psychiatric care and social support. In many cases, our rehabilitation team also aids in community reintegration and participation in life roles. All these are designed to help you recover from the effects of your injury as much as possible.

Symptoms that may occur after TBI which we address as part of your recovery include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and/or confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor concentration and/or memory problems
  • Personality changes
  • Weakness in muscles

Your rehab specialists may help assess your home to see if it’s safe and accessible for you. They will determine whether you will be able to easily navigate around your home, or if safety improvements are necessary. You may need special devices and equipment around your home to make your day-to-day activities as simple as they were prior to your injury. Your rehab team will also assist you in arranging help from family, friends, or care providers to help you with your day-to-day needs. They will also educate your care providers about how to safely meet your mobility and healthcare needs at home.

What Happens During Rehab After Traumatic Brain Injury?

Every person’s needs and abilities after TBI are different. You will have a rehab program designed especially for you. Your program is likely to involve many types of healthcare providers. It’s important to have 1 central person you can talk to. This person is often called your case coordinator or case manager. This person will help coordinate your care and work with you and your family on the type of available rehab programs and the rehab coverage offered by your health insurance company.

Over time, your program will likely change as your needs and abilities change.

Your individual program may include any or all these treatments:

  • Physical therapy
  • Physical medicine
  • Occupational therapy
  • Psychiatric care
  • Psychological care
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Social support

What Happens After Rehab For Traumatic Brain Injury?

How long your rehab lasts and how much follow-up care you will need afterwards depends on how severe your brain damage was and how well you respond to therapy. Some people may be able to return to the same level of ability they had before TBI. Others need lifetime care. Some people are helped by vocational rehab. This helps them learn new skills with the goal of employment.

Some long-term effects of TBI can show up years later. You may be at higher risk long-term for problems such as Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and other forms of dementia.

After rehab you may be given these instructions:

  • Symptoms and signs that you should call your healthcare provider about
  • Symptoms and signs that are to be expected
  • Advice on safety and self-care
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