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Published on December 04, 2018

Occupational Therapy Helps Restore Mobility Following Arm Injury

LeRoy PratherLeRoy Prather, Jr. and his occupational therapist, Kelly Ballie, have gotten to know each other pretty well. They’ve worked together on more than one occasion.

Late in the spring of 2017, Prather suffered an arm injury when his left shoulder was dislocated. The dislocation was complex, so he had to be taken to Wesley Long Hospital to have the shoulder put back in place under anesthesia. Because structures were stretched out during the time his shoulder was out of place, he suffered nerve damage, and he was unable to move his wrist and hand normally. That’s where Ballie (and her physical therapy colleagues) came in.

Ballie has made Prather several splints to support his weak arm. She worked with him on stretching, strengthening and fine motor coordination, helping him to regain his ability to pick up and manipulate small items. It was gradual progress, but it helped that Ballie could answer his questions about it along the way. It was a big day when he could lift his hand up from the wrist for the first time, as well as hitting milestones like being able to reach up to grab the shower head at home.

Even with the progress he made, Ballie felt like there was something else preventing him from doing better. Sure enough, when Prather had nerve conduction tests done, it showed he needed a surgery to release pressure on a nerve in his arm. After a short hiatus for that surgery, he’s been referred back to Ballie to continue his recovery.

Prather’s attitude with all this? “I don’t let it beat me down,” he says, and his motto is that patience is the key to virtue. Certainly hard work pays off too.

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