Introduction to Internship Blogs / #1 Function Turned Contracture

     Hey everyone, while on my clinical internships for my Doctor of Physical Therapy, I thought it would be interesting to share some thoughts that arise from patient encounters. I will not be providing any detailed information about any of my patients in agreement with HIPPA. I will attempt to be very brief and straight to the point for all of these mini postings, and occasionally throw in some research evidence when necessary. Enjoy!

#1 Function Turned Contracture  

     A patient came in with a history of an abnormal movement pattern, in this instance toe walking. Due to this learned behavior, this patient displayed significant contractures in the ankles bilaterally. A contracture is the shortening or hardening of soft tissue, such as muscle or tendon. During his/her development, this abnormality was never addressed, primarily due to an oversight by another medical professional. Formation of contractures over time had led to deformities and rigidity of the joints and significantly decreased function. The lesson of this encounter is that if a movement does not look "normal" or similar to a majority of those around, the individual or their caregiver should seek the help of a movement expert, a physical therapist.

- Patrick Berner, SPT

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