Case Study: Riverside Premier Rehabilitation & Healing Center (December 2020)

Patients Age: 62

Admitted From: Bellevue Hospital Center

Discharged To: Home

Length of Stay: 20 days

Reason for Stay: Short Term Rehab

How did this patient hear about the Riverside? Social Worker, Bellevue Hospital

Mr. Flaco was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center on October 17th, 2020 for severe pain in his neck, caused by a fall. Before admission, Mr. Flaco served in the United States military for seven years, serving abroad during Operation Desert Storm in the 1st Gulf War. His military service was cut short after sustaining an injury to his neck while on duty. Initially, he was offered to have surgery to repair the damages, however, Mr.Flaco believed that his injuries would heal over time. In August of 2020, Mrs. Flaco noticed significant changes in her husband’s health and mobility. His appetite decreased, resulting in significant weight loss, and he experienced a decrease in his ability to have a regular walking stride, which was reduced to shuffling.

The couple often enjoyed taking long walks all around the city, as part of their normal routine. One day, their route took a bad turn, just 2 steps away from reaching the lobby level to go out on their walk, when Mr.Flaco missed a step, fell, and hit his head on the step. Unable to get off the floor, EMS was called and rushed him to Bellevue Hospital. An X-ray showed parts of his neck were fractured from the fall, including further damage to vertebrae from his military service. Medical staff encouraged the patient to have posterior decompression and fusion surgery to his C3-C7 spine. The recent fall showed fractures to his C4/C5 vertebrae, which would require a separate surgery. After extensive surgery, the medical staff was successful in fixing the fracture and fusing the spine. They recommended that Mr.Flaco participate in a skilled nursing facility’s program to continue receiving occupational therapy and physical therapy. His wife conducted an extensive search of the best-skilled nursing facilities in the New York City area. Hearing wonderful stories about The Riverside Premier Rehabilitation and Healing Center, the loving couple informed the hospital case manager their 1st choice would be Riverside.

As the doors of the ambulance opened up on 87th and Riverside Drive, Mr.Flaco was greeted by the friendly staff members of the Riverside During his first morning, Mr.Falco was evaluated by the medical staff, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietary, pain management, recreation, and Urban Zen teams. Each department made a custom treatment plan to help him begin the journey home. The initial therapy began slowly, due to pain in the surgical area, which required tailoring the pain management so he may be able to fully participate in therapy. Pain Management Specialists were able to reduce the pain significantly, which allowed Mr. Flaco to make significant improvements. Within a matter of days, he improved his ambulation ability from five feet to fifty feet. His rapid progress was a big win for all: the patient, his family, and the staff. Originally, he arrived at The Riverside on a stretcher, only being able to exercise in bed. Days later, he was able to move with limited assistance into the wheelchair, and in a few days, he was using a walker. Within 20 days, he was fully capable of walking with only a cane in his hand and a giant smile on his face. On December 17th, 2020 Mr. Flaco was discharged home to his family.

The team wishes him good luck and wonderful wishes for 2021.