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Time no barrier to improvements from stroke rehab

Intensive rehabilitation is readily available for stroke survivors, those with brain injury and spinal cord injury in the first months after the event. However, many do not receive adequate rehabilitation in subsequent years – a period during which there can be complications and issues that can profoundly impact quality of life. These can include neurogenic pain, spasticity, adjustment disorders, relationship issues, questions about work or driving, or changing equipment needs.

According to Lara Fernandez, MetroRehab’s Stroke and Neurological Programs Manager, this literature shows with the advancements in acute management of stroke as a result of thrombolysis and endovascular clot retrieval, we are experiencing improved patient outcomes. However, we are commonly seeing patients discharged from the acute facilities without a rehabilitation consult or referral. (Evidence from 2019 stroke foundation audit.)

“When stroke survivors return home quickly post intervention at an acute hospital, they can experience difficulties in managing their everyday activities and their carers can have high levels of stress,” says Lara. “Physically, patients may present normally, however cognitively there can be issues. It’s vitally important we look beyond just the physical presentations – cognitive problems are often ‘hidden’ but can greatly affect qualtiy of life.”

Adults with chronic neurological disorders can benefit from the expertise at MetroRehab including those who have experienced a stroke, acquired brain injury (traumatic or post neurosurgery), or have conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury (traumatic or degenerative), and multiple sclerosis.

Lara Fernandez works in both the Inpatient wards alongside the multidisciplinary rehab team and also with Rehabilitation Specialists Dr Helen Redmond and Dr Darren Lee at MetroRehab in the NeuroRehab clinic.