“He is an idiot…”

She has had right lower extremity weakness for the last 8 years after a botched lumbar fusion surgery that left her with a knee that buckles beneath her and a drop foot.

When I started seeing her 3 weeks ago, she had recently ruptured her left rotator cuff and could no longer use her walker. We trialed a platform walker without success. I provided her with instruction on how to use a cane, but it was far from “textbook”, she more closely resembled Gregory House. She had been left with no choice, she could no longer use her preferred left hand and it made no sense to have her walk “normally” (supporting her stronger leg with a cane).

Due to other medical issues, the patient remained on the inpatient orthopedic floor for (a planned) 4 days after her rotator cuff repair. She had been transferred from my care on Friday and was anticipated to return for re-evaluation the next week. She would be home for less than one hour before she would fall.

When I arrived later that day to re-evaluate her, her left arm was in a sling and the cane was in her right hand; but she looked different.

Why are you walking that way?

The therapist at the hospital told me you showed me how to do this wrong. He said you always move the right hand with the left leg…right hand with the left leg…right hand with the left leg.

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