I had a small subcortical stroke last May. I was hospitalized for a week and underwent 3 weeks of rehab in a rehab hospital and about 4 months of outside therapy for my left arm and left leg. I have regained most of the movement in my hand, although I have pain in the left shoulder. My main problem is mobility, and have been told by a rehab specialist that I have reached MMI and that I will have to continue to wear the AFO for the rest of my life. I am able to get around inside the house without any assistive device, although I have a rollater and a quad cane that I use when I leave the house. I feel very insecure and "wobbly" at all times and have fallen a number of times. Would you suggest that I consult a neurologist or some other specialist or should I accept that I have reached the my highest degree of improvement and live with it. (I'm 80 years old).
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not make specific recommendations or predict your prognosis. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Recovery after a stroke of course depends on the location of the stroke and the extent of the stroke.
After a stroke, research has shown the greatest benefit from physical therapy occurs in the first few months, but that when physical therapy is stopped, some loss of the previously gained benefits occurs. Continued physical therapy is always important, but often assistive devices such as AFOs, canes or walkers are required.
Seeing a neurologist for continued stroke prevention is important, but another benefit to you may be to be evaluated by a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) specialist. This type of specialist is different from a physical or occupational therapist in the sense that a PM&R specialist is a physician specialist in physical and occupational therapy, and he/she may have some suggestions about how to improve your mobility. PM&R specialists are most often available in rehab centers or tertiary care hospitals (such as university hospitals).
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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