THE GIFT OF GETTING BACK TO LIFE

Maggie W

Sarasota Orthopedic Associate’s Occupational Therapy Department continues celebrating National OT Month. To commemorate we are sharing a case study of one of our Occupational Therapy Star graduates.

Matthew exemplifies how Occupational Therapy can help patients get “back on your feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life”, the SOA mission statement. Matthew is a 28 year old male who was injured at work as an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard. An injury to his cervical spine was a result from practicing dolphin dives as part of a work training exercise.  He experienced temporary paralysis in all four  extremities from his spinal cord compression and  underwent emergency surgery to fuse his neck from C3 to C5.

Matthew was then referred  for inpatient therapy immediately following his surgery to begin his long rehabilitation. Once stabilized, he was discharged home and referred to outpatient Occupational and Physical Therapy.  On his first visit at SOA, he presented as a very motivated, hopeful young man despite his multiple deficits.  His cervical spine was stabilized in a neck brace, and he was able to walk with a rolling walker.  He required assistance to stabilize his balance while his upper extremities were assessed.

The OT/PT team found Matthew to have limited range of motion of his arms, significant weakness, both gross motor and fine motor coordination deficits, and sensory deficits. Initially, Matthew was able to do his own basic self-care with extra time, utilizing adaptive equipment, like a reacher/grabber, shower chair, and grab bars. Basic functions of cutting food and driving were not possible and he was lucky enough to reside with his parents as he recovered.

After careful assessment of his strengths and deficits, his Occupational Therapist derived a plan of care to return him to independent living. Through Mathew’s diligence with his home exercise program and his motivation and positive outlook, he is now walking on his own and performing all of his self-care with improved efficiency.  His goal is to return to work, be able to paddle his rescue board out a quarter mile to a predestined location, dive down 20 feet, grab a handful of sand, and emerge a new, stronger man. Matthew wants to be ready to pursue his passion… rescuing others in need.  “I want to get back to doing what I love.”

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy is available at all three locations. If you would like an appointment please go to our website at www.SOA.md to schedule online, or call us at 941.951.BONE. We are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed.

Vivian

Article submitted by Vivian Robinson, OT, CHT at SOA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>