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Abstract

Purpose: A combination of a stroke and spinal cord injury adversely affecting both upper limbs is an unusual combination for a patient presenting for outpatient rehabilitation services. Although the management of these conditions in isolation is well documented, there is limited literature regarding rehabilitation for these conditions in combination, particularly the use of assistive technology in this setting. Methods: A case report is presented of a 53-year-old male referred for outpatient rehabilitation following a left-sided stroke, with resultant dense right sided hemiplegia. A pre-existing spinal cord injury had affected his left upper limb such that he had marked proximal weakness. This combination of impairments meant he was unable to perform even basic activities of daily living involving the upper limbs. A therapy program, led by an occupational therapist with support and input from the multi-disciplinary team, included the use of an assistive device (a mobile arm support) to facilitate functional upper limb activities. This greatly improved his ability to do upper limb functional activities. Conclusion: The use of an assistive device enabled the patient to engage in meaningful activities of daily living involving the upper limbs.

Author Bio(s)

Shelley Fulton, BAppSc(OT), is the Senior Occupational Therapist, Day Rehabilitation Service, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia.

Laura Wilkinson, BAppSc(OT), is an Occupational Therapist, Day Rehabilitation Service, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia.

Kathy Stiller, BAppSc(Physio), PhD, is Allied Health Research Coordinator, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, South Australia.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the patient involved for his written consent to report his case and all members of the Day Rehabilitation Service team involved in his care.

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