How is my mother's Physical Therapy going to work, if when she broke her hip, she also broke her shoulder?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Liltexan asked...

My mom was cleaning upstairs, and was coming down and lost her footing and fell down the stairs and onto the hardwood floor. She broke her hip, and shoulder, and actually her soulder was out of socket, which she put back into place by herself because the pain was so unbearable. I am a nurse, and I plan on takin her in and caring for her until shes better. She was very active before this, and I think that the inactivity for a while is gonna drive her nuts. She is supposed to have surgery tomorrow to put the screw into her hip...its an MI. (which i thought was a miocardial infarction). KIDDIN. But, after the surgery, how long after do they put them in rehab? Also, if she cant use a walker because of the broken shoulder, how is this going to work??? Her fever has been preventing surgery the last 24 hours. They have her on IV antibiotics, two separate kind, and pain meds pretty much constantly. I dont blame my mom for that because i have suffered a fractured hip from a slip in a tub. OUCH. My physical therapy consisted of walking a little each day. Nothing extensive thank goodness. I just hope that everything from here on out goes smoothly, bc i have heard a lot of horror stories.

Expert Answers

For 20 years, physical therapist Connie Lambert has worked with individuals and families with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. As founder and CEO of Our Generations, LLC, she provides specialized dementia and behavioral management training for corporations, facilities, and groups.

Your mother is lucky to have you for a daughter because her rehab will be complicated. A lot depends on which limbs are affected. Are the breaks on the same side or opposite sides? The therapists will have to develop her rehab plan accordingly. They will consider her weight-bearing status, previous physical condition and level of activity, current pain, strength in unaffected limbs and side effects experienced by pain meds and anesthesia. I have done the following in similar cases: 1. Started with bed mobility which she probably has already accomplished. 2. Established a baseline exercise program using a modified upper and lower extremity bike and any other appropriate equipment, adhering to post-surgical precautions. 3. When strong enough, using a Wenzelite Platform gait trainer modified with the forearm platform toward the front for stability, initiated standing and gait training, as appropriate. 4. I believe the best rehab for going home and staying there involves repetition of home-based activities, this is where I would concentrate with the help of Occupational therapy.
I wish you the very best. Connie Lambert, PT, CCM, PhD