Case Study: Orthopedic Injury

Submitted by: Amy LaCroix, RN

Patient Condition

My client had fallen off of a porch and fractured her leg so badly that she needed surgery. After her procedure, she experienced a lot of pain and no weight bearing to the leg, and she needed constant help from her husband to move around the house (transfers etc.). This level of care became too high for her husband to manage alone, and they called Health Services of Northern New York.

Patient Treatment

We were able to help my client by providing skilled nursing and physical therapy, and after a couple of weeks her pain was reduced and she felt more comfortable with the pain she experienced. One day, my client noticed a new red spot on her leg that she had not seen before. She called me to report what she found, and when I looked at her leg I realized an internal stitch was causing an infection on the surgical site. I started her on antibiotics and had her meet with her physician the next day. The internal stitch worked its way out of her leg and the infection healed.

Patient Recovery

Upon her discharge, my client independently performed physical therapy exercises and transfers, and her ambulation had significantly improved – she walked with a walker and without assistance of her husband or another person.

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