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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I sprained my ankle over two months ago and I'm still not getting better. So I started seeing a physical therapist for rehab yesterday. I'd like to keep track of my progress to see if I am getting better or not. What's the best way to do this?

Ask your therapist what tool(s) he or she is going to use to track outcome measures (results). The phrase outcome measures is a standard one used in rehabilitation. There are many ways to assess results of treatment in rehab.

Sometimes a simple measurement like joint range of motion identifies progress. In other instances, impairments such as swelling or pain are graded on a scale from zero (none) to five (most) or zero to 10.

Surveys are often used to measure change in function, activities of daily living, or recreational status. For sports players, task-specific measures are often included. How quickly can the player pivot and move in a different direction? How difficult is it to do? Can the player kick a ball hard easily? How difficult is it to kneel or squat?

For older adults, a different set of questions may be used. For example, how difficult is it to get on and off a bus? How long does it take to walk 10 feet? Can the patient walk across uneven surfaces such as a slope?

Tracking your progress in a good idea. Taking baseline measurements before and post-intervention measurements after treatment is required in today's evidence-based medicine.


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