Post-stroke recovery is a complex process where functional recovery is influenced by, but not dependent on, neurologic recovery. Although functional improvement may continue long after the completion of neurologic recovery, there are currently no reproducible prognostic models for stroke recovery. Age and motor function at stroke onset correlate with the degree of functional recovery, while post-stroke ambulation ability predicts long-term independence. Shoulder abduction and finger extension at stroke onset prognosticate arm recovery, while sitting balance at onset portends a return to independent walking. The potential for functional return is also influenced by the degree – or absence – of spasticity on the paretic side, the development of neuropathic pain, and notably for the upper extremity, the presence of hemiparetic shoulder pain.
This session will look at why it’s important for clinicians to recognize, anticipate, and prevent potential post-stroke neuromuscular functional complications, especially the relatively rapid onset of flexion contractures.
Explain the concept of a neuroplasticity window of recovery.
Recognize the differences between functional versus neurologic recovery.
Gain new perspectives on neuroplasticity, stroke recovery stages, and potential stroke neuromuscular functional complications.
Identify and treat spasticity, neuropathic pain, and hemiparetic shoulder pain, while preventing flexion contractures.