Physical Therapy After Cervical Fusion: Personalized Care, Great Improvement
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Journey Back to Independence, Confidence and Strength with the UM St. Joseph Outpatient Rehabilitation Institute
Patrick Wiglesworth had never missed an Orioles opening day. Then everything changed.
He attended the Orioles’ very first game in Baltimore in 1954 with his dad. For the past 30 years, he has worked part-time as an usher at Oriole Park. Despite having a cervical fusion last December followed by some residual
leg weakness, he was not about to miss this year’s home opener, either. That’s because the expert physical therapy team at the UM St. Joseph Outpatient Rehabilitation Institute helped him regain his strength.
Loss of Balance as a Symptom
A huge sports fan, Wiglesworth, who is a retired Baltimore Sun executive, manages the gates at M&T Bank Stadium for Ravens games — a job that involves a lot of running around.
Last year, Wiglesworth began experiencing weakness while walking. While working a Ravens game, his balance was so shaky that he left early.
“I thought maybe I was having a stroke,” he recalled. He went to the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center Emergency Department and was admitted to the hospital. There, he was diagnosed with a cyst on his cervical spine that was causing the pain and imbalance. He required a very delicate, seven-hour neurosurgery to remove the cyst, followed by a cervical spine fusion, which was performed at University of Maryland Medical Center.
Comprehensive One-on-One Personalized Rehab
Wiglesworth’s recovery includes physical therapy at UM St. Joseph Outpatient Rehabilitation Institute three times a week to address his postural weakness and balance deficits.
“The staff there are wonderful; they care about you,” he said. “I’ve gotten one-on-one attention. It’s very personalized care in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. My therapy includes stretching, riding a bike and leg strengthening. They’re working on helping me turn my neck, which was stiff from the operation and the neck brace. I’ve seen great improvement. I’m glad my physician recommended St. Joe’s rehab.”
The UM St. Joseph Outpatient Rehabilitation Institute is a comprehensive outpatient therapy facility.
“We specialize in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and swallowing therapy,” explained outpatient rehabilitation manager Argie Alevrogiannis, MPT. “Our services address orthopedic issues such as back pain, rotator cuff repair, knee pain and joint replacement. Our patients come to us with many conditions, such as head and neck cancer, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. We take care of the resulting problems, including issues with balance, pelvic floor deficits, vestibular issues and more. We help patients gain and maintain as much control and independence in their lives as possible. We stay in close touch with our patients’ providers and even help coordinate insurance benefits.”