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Thread: Choosing a PT facility

  1. #1

    Choosing a PT facility

    We need to decide on which of the two physical therapy facilities in our town my wife will go to. She's T-5 complete; flaccid. She cannot transfer herself; can barely pull herself up to sit up on the side of the bed. We intend to go to each of them and ask a set of questions to evaluate them - to determine how much they know about SCI patients, and what they can offer. I guess the questions should include:
    What experience do they have with patients like my wife?
    How many have they treated/do they currently have?
    What equipment do they have? standing frame, (what else? what kinds?)
    What would they suggest as a course of treatment?

    Do you have suggestions as to what we should ask?
    Should I ask about FES (I think it's unknown in this neck of the woods)?
    Thanks for the help.
    - Richard

  2. #2
    Will this be outpatient or inpatient? You cover a lot in your questions, I would definately check out the place in person--see if the equipment is old and see how well the place is maintained. If it is inpatient let us know I can think of more suggestions.

  3. #3
    Outpatient. Probably will be going once or twice a week.
    Thanks, I forgot to mention that.
    - Richard

  4. #4
    Where was your wife as an inpatient? If you felt that they did a good job call and ask them. I have no way of telling, but it sounds like your wife should be more independent at this point.
    Is there a staff physiatrist (rehab doctor) at both of the facilities?
    Try to talk to the staff member(s) who will be working with your wife and gauge their experience and results.
    Find out if you can speak with one of their current outpatients irrespective of their injury or treatment.
    Probably more importantly, will your insurance pay at both places. She should try to get physical therapy at least twice a week.
    Good luck,

  5. #5
    Your questions are good. A full evaluation will be done but once completed, they should be able to give you some solid goals. I would think 2-3x week is a good frequency as once weekly is hard to make progress unless someone at home is doing very similar therapy.

    I would ask about FES and all options you have heard or read about.
    How they respond to your questions can gaive a good ndication of their willingness to individualize treatment.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rfbdorf
    We need to decide on which of the two physical therapy facilities in our town my wife will go to. She's T-5 complete; flaccid. She cannot transfer herself; can barely pull herself up to sit up on the side of the bed. - Richard
    Hi Richard,

    Since all injuries are different, as are all PT and/or SCI Rehab Centers, I'm not judging your wife. But most T-5 paras should leave their initial SCI rehab center knowing how to transfer in and out of cars, bed, on and off the toilet and or bath/shower chair or bench. And onto other household furniture and for the brave and strong.... floor to wheelchair transfers.

    Make sure there are strong and properly placed grab bars in the bathroom by the toilet and shower/bath. One of these days I'm gonna get some. Hopefully before I crack my skull open!

    I hope you find her a good PT treatment center. She'll get the hang of it quickly.... it's no big deal with the right instruction.

    Best of luck.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  7. #7
    Thanks for the responses.
    She had been an inpatient for a total of 6 weeks (two 3 week stints). The physiatrist at that place (large hospital serving Portland OR) wrote her a prescription for outpatient PT, which we'll do nearer home, but did not know anything about either place in our town. She (phys) also knows virtually nothing about FES - I don't think anyone near Portland does, from what I've seen.
    There is not a physiatrist at one of the places for sure; don't know about the other (which is in the local, smaller, hospital), but I rather doubt it.
    Insurance should be good for either place.
    Oh yeah, one reason for her slow progress has been pain. We recently changed pain specialists, and things have been somewhat easier, but still rough.
    Thanks again
    - Richard

  8. #8
    I would encourage you to check out a "check list" to evaluate the two facilities by using the form on the website
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    The OP is looking for an outpatient therapy program, not an inpatient SCI rehab program.

    Oh well, since the OP is over 5 years old, I am sure they have made a choice and decision by now!


  10. #10
    lol KLD, I didn't read the date til you mentioned it and was going to respond also.

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