Use of a sling for shoulder support in early neurorehabilitation programme
AbstractBackground: The purpose of our study was to assess the applicability of a specially designed functional sling for the correction of shoulder joint position in the early phase of neurorehabilitation. Patients and methods: Study included patients hospitalized at the Clinical Department of Neurosurgery of the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana, who suffered from severe paresis or paralysis of the upper limb. All patients included in the research were given a specially designed functional sling with the possibility of individual adjustments. By the help of a manipulated scale (transfer with respect to needed assistance) we assessed how much help the patients using the sling needed in every-day activities; special attention was given to the evaluation of patients’ ability to stand up from and sit down in a wheelchair. Results: The research included 15 patients. During the rehabilitation programme, which included a specially designed functional sling, seven patients progressed by a grade on a scale (transfer with respect to needed assistance), seven patients progressed by two grades and one patient was bedridden. The average VAS value for shoulder pain without a functional sling was 5.3. With the use of a functional sling, the average VAS value was 2.3. Conclusion: The research has shown that the sling for shoulder joint position correction in early neurorehabilitation phase plays an important role as a device that enables patients more self-dependence in movement, especially when sitting down in and rising up from a wheel-chair. The process of learning how to use the sling was somewhat more difficult because of sensation disorder as well as cognitive and communication difficulties. An additional drawback was short usage time, because the patients were using the sling during hospitalization period only.
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