Real-life Challenges for an Individual

Tetraplegia is a serious condition resulting from SCI that leads to complete or incomplete paralysis of all four limbs. Those suffering from it face a range of physical and psychological challenges. Personality, motivation and outlook on life play no small role in the desired rehabilitative outcomes.

Read more: General Introduction

Peter's Story

Peter was a 20-year-old plasterer at the time of his car accident in 2001. He presents with tetraplegia (sub C6, as a consequence of vertebral fracture of C5) ASIA B.

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Just two weeks before completing the first Rehab Cycle, Peter asked to be discharged and was released against the recommendations of his health care team. Unfortunately, he was unable to be dissuaded and a final evaluation was performed just before he left the clinic — significantly earlier than originally intended.

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As illustrated in Peter’s case, the translation of the results of a surgical intervention such as upper extremity surgery into positive, meaningful outcomes for a patient can present a significant rehabilitative challenge.

Real-life results are dependent not only upon the success of medical intervention, but also on the patient himself and the subsequent rehabilitative interventions. These are effected by an individual patient’s engagement and acceptance of responsibility for the process, as well as the healthcare professional-patient interaction. Peter’s case offers an illustrative example. While it is well-documented that upper extremity surgery is effective for increasing functionality,131415 surgery and the treatment scheme alone may not guarantee positive results, as was evident three weeks into Peter’s medical management.

Read more: Discussion