Physical Therapy Helps Patient Regain Use of Arm

Published On 07/27/2010

Memphis, Tenn.— After a bad fall, Somerville resident Barbara Cutrell was told by her orthopedic doctor that she would never be able to lift her right arm again. The widow and grandmother of 10 couldn’t imagine not being able to drive.

“The first thing I thought was that I am going to be crippled for life,” said Barbara. “Losing my independence really frightened me.”

Her doctor highly recommended surgery as the best option to correct her shoulder even though he warned her that the operation may not work. Barbara was not comfortable with the idea of surgery since she would have to undergo anesthesia, which had proven to be difficult for her in the past. As an alternative to surgery, her doctor referred her to physical therapy at Methodist Fayette Hospital.

Barbara started therapy in January knowing there was a slim chance of a successful recovery. Physical therapist, Joni Robertson, designed a customized home exercise program based on Barbara’s goal of being able to perform routine household activities.

“I wanted to be able to put in my contact lenses, comb my hair, and put on my own jewelry,” said Barbara. “I wanted to regain some of the independence I lost after the accident.”

After the first few weeks of therapy, she started seeing big results immediately. As the therapy progressed, she was able to track her progress by the tasks she was able to complete.

“After six weeks of therapy she could reach a cabinet door,” said Joni Robertson, physical therapist, Methodist Fayette Hospital. “And after 12 weeks she had amazing results which allowed her to gain full functional use of her arm.”

“It has been a joy to come to Methodist Fayette Hospital and work with my therapist,” said Barbara. “Joni made me feel like her only patient.”

Barbara also felt that the calm and peaceful environment at Methodist Fayette affected her recovery. “The big picture window in the physical therapy department gave me a sense of serenity,” said Barbara. “It was like looking into a different nature scene every day.”

Barbara completed her therapy in six months and credits the physical therapy department at Methodist Fayette for her successful recovery.

Learn more about orthopedic services and physical therapy in Memphis, Tennessee.