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Are there injuries that you don’t heal from, or is there a time where you accept that your recovery is as good as it will get?

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Senior physical therapist

Answer transcribed from Brightway's interview with Dr. Cristen Gordon (pt.2):


That is such a tricky question. There are some injuries that maybe you can't heal from. I've seen treated patients with a noxic brain injury where their brain did not get oxygen for an extended period of time and a good portion of brain tissue has died. What happens after that is not necessarily just accepting function as it is. As a therapist, in particular, I'm not going to say just where we are. The goal is what can we do, what can we make better, what can we improve upon to improve quality of life, and the ability to live life. I think I mentioned last week that sometimes, that might mean using a brace, splint, assistive device, or a wheelchair. We have this conversation in the therapy world a lot–is it more important for a patient to walk if they can only walk five or ten feet, which is not really functional because you can't go beyond your house at walking five to ten feet, or is it more important for a patient to be able to live life maybe using a wheelchair and they can go anywhere. That is a conversation that you can have with your therapist and believe me, we have that conversation amongst ourselves as well. It goes on a case-by-case basis but sometimes, it means just changing the way you do things in order to get back to doing it. I mentioned that it's based on the patient's priorities as well.