Excellence in Action! – The Importance of Research and Patient Advocacy

Our Chanute, KS Team by their facility’s therapy pool.

Our team had a 74-year-old patient admitted to the facility following a motor vehicle accident with a semi-truck, leaving her severely injured. Her husband, unfortunately, was killed in the accident so in addition to her physical injuries, she was emotionally devastated. Her whole world had changed in an instant.

Prior to this accident, she was very independent. She enjoyed gardening, traveling, and even shouldered most of the work for an annual fundraiser at her church.

At the end of March, she was admitted status post-concussion, pelvic fractures requiring fixation, and rib fractures. She was instructed that she would be non-weight bearing (NWB) bilaterally for a minimum of 8-12 weeks. Additionally, she had been NWB on left lower extremity (LE) all but two weeks since the beginning of December following an ankle fracture. She was essentially looking at half a year of NWB.

At her follow-up appointment, she was cleared by her Ortho to use the facility’s new therapy pool, with the exception of putting her feet down or using the aquatic treadmill. The pool was something new to our therapy team, but after researching weight-bearing percentages at different water levels, Brian, PT, was able to provide the surgeon with weight-bearing (WB) percentage statistics at neck level depth. After seeing the information Brian had provided, the surgeon agreed that she could use the aquatic treadmill.

Through the innovative research and treatment provided by our team, they have been able to work on her gait mechanics/cycle while NWB. She is currently still on caseload and waiting to be cleared for WB outside of the pool, but her confidence has significantly improved and is certain to expedite her return to function when cleared.

Our team is thrilled with her progress, and even more so, happy that they have been able to support her during this hard time.