Lower Extremity Orthotics Lab
The Lower Extremity Orthotic Lab provides multidisciplinary, comprehensive evaluations and treatment recommendations for patients with lower extremity impairments. All patients seen by the lab are currently enrolled in a clinical trial of an NIH institute or center. The pedorthotist, physical therapist or physiatrist provide orthotics, shoe or bracing consultations as well as a detailed biomechanically-based musculoskeletal assessment. Interventions may include provisions of orthoses, prescription footwear, shoe modifications, therapeutic exercises, gait training, education, and more. The lab provides an opportunity for experienced clinicians from different disciplines to share ideas about evaluation and treatment strategies. The lab is staffed with representatives from Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Biomechanics, and Pedorthics.
The oncology program is designed to address the rehabilitation needs of cancer patients. Approximately 50 percent of the referrals to Physical Therapy are from the National Cancer Institute. Physicians and therapists treat patients involved in Phase 1 research studies, where scientists are determining the safety of medications to Phase 4 research studies, where safety and efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents are established. Services are provided to reduce the impairments of cancer, improve patient function and minimize disability. These services improve quality of life as they relate to rehabilitation medicine and physical therapy.
Bone Marrow Transplant Program
This program is designed to examine a patient's current level of impairment and then create an individualized exercise program with special attention to daily changes in blood circulation. Platelet, white blood cell and red blood cell levels are strictly monitored to provide the safest rehabilitation. Therapists work to decrease the most common functional limitations — intolerance for continuous activity and activities of daily living.
Lymphedema Management Program
Patients who undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors may experience lymphedema, especially when lymph node dissection occurs. Lymphedema is a condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling. It may occur in the upper or lower extremities after lymph vessels or lymph nodes in the underarm or groin are removed or treated with radiation. Changes in the lymphatic transport system usually result in lymphedema, which can lead to impairments from pain, decreased strength, and/or range of motion. Therapists work to reduce impairments and decrease functional limitations using a combination of techniques to reduce the lymphedema. Through manual lymph drainage, elevation, compression bandaging and exercises, the patient usually experiences a reduction in pain, increased range of motion and strength and overall improvement in quality of life. With proper management these patients are usually able to return to work and maintain satisfactory social lives.
The pediatric program emphasizes an interdisciplinary team approach in the management of children with disabilities and disease processes. The team evaluates patients with metabolic, neurologic, genetic, infectious and oncologic diseases. The team assures proper contacts are made for home physical therapy, works with the school system, and consults with the primary therapist. The team is involved with various NIH institutes or Centers as collaborators on research studies. The main goal of the pediatric program is to minimize disability, and help the children get back to their favorite play activities.