Effective Treatment

Treating a More Complicated Case

Patricia, a remarkable 59 year-old foster mother who cared for over 50 babies in the past 20 years and adopted four children sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident when she was the seat-belted driver of a car that was hit on the passenger side by another vehicle. She was transported by ambulance to another hospital where she was treated and ultimately released.

After this, her family physician recommended that she be seen for chiropractic treatment. She followed this advice, but after visiting the chiropractor her pain only worsened. When she presented herself to my office she had multiple complaints of pain symptomatology. She told me that she had pain "with tingling in my legs and my feet get numb." She also reported difficulty with her neck and tingling in her fingers.

Her history was somewhat complicated. She had an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer in 1996 for which she underwent a lumpectomy and both chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She had also undergone a hysterectomy as well as a tubal ligation. Due to her family history she was on multiple medications for both high blood pressure and an insulin course for her diabetes mellitus. Also, she had several allergies to various medications including some pain and anti-inflammatory medications.

After examining the patient, I felt that there were difficulties she was having not only with respect to her spine but also her extremities. I told her I was concerned with respect to her pain and numbness in the arms and legs, as well as the fact that she was having weakness. I explained my concerns with her diabetes, as well as her progressive symptomatology despite having received medical attention in the emergency room, from her family physician, as well as chiropractic treatment.

She received an MRI and came in the next day. We personally reviewed the films together. We discussed the results and I recommended a surgical consultation. I placed her on a course of physical therapy which she found to be quite helpful for her lower back. Unfortunately her neck pain only worsened as did the weakness in her arms.

The patient ultimately underwent surgery for her neck. This surgery was undertaken by a team, including members who monitored her condition with special electrodes during the course of the surgery to monitor her spinal cord. Approximately four months following surgery she returned to see me and she was quite pleased with her progress and grateful that she had received the treatment she needed.

She clearly felt that the treatment she received by seeking a specialist in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was comprehensive and more helpful than the treatment that she received prior to coming to the office. Today she is doing quite well and is able to care for her children.

Case study by Jeffrey Perry, D.O.
Perry Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation PC

Learn more about Dr. Perry

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TOP 10 REASONS to Visit a Physiatrist

  • 1. Physiatry is a medical specialty
  • 2. Physiatrists are medical doctors (M.D.s and D.O.s)
  • 3. Physiatrists treat the whole person, not just a condition
  • 4. Physiatrists use the latest treatments and modalities
  • 5. No problem is ever too small or too big for a physiatrist
  • 6. Physiatry treatment is highly individualized to meet the specific needs of the patient
  • 7. Physiatry can often help people avoid surgery
  • 8. The physiatrist's job is restore as much function and independence as possible—to put the pieces of people's lives back together
  • 9. The physiatrist works with a team of health care professionals that includes physicians of other medical specialties, and therapists
  • 10. Physiatrists can help with acute and chronic pain management issues