Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I'm feeling a little abandoned by my surgeon. After months of caring for my leg that was torn up in an attack by a bear, now I've been turned over to the physician's assistant and the physical therapist. Is that normal? I'm wondering if I said or did something wrong.

It's not uncommon for patients to feel this way after a long period of time working closely with their surgeons. The trauma of the attack by a bear, the fear of losing a limb, and the need for close personal attention draw you close to your physician. But recovery from complex injuries of this kind usually require the efforts of an entire team. At this point, the main part of the surgeon's job may be done. Close monitoring and follow-up are his or her primary focus on you now. That will mean contact (appointments) with the surgeon but with longer periods of time in between visits. The nursing staff, physician's assistant, physical therapist, and other health care professionals who have been (or who are now) part of your team will guide you through the next phase of recovery. Your work has just begun. Rehab and recovery may take another set of stages over a period of weeks to months. The more damage present, the more extensive the surgery, and the longer the recovery time. You will be progressed through a series of range-of-motion exercises, strength training, and return to daily activities. Return-to-work and/or return-to-sports for athletes can be achieved with a work- or sports-specific rehab program. Given your particular circumstances and the way you are feeling, you might want to consider a short course of counseling. The counselor can help you understand and process your feelings. What you are feeling is natural but you just may not be equipped to deal effectively with the many changes in your life these past weeks to months.


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