What is the focus of rehabilitation following middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke?

Updated: Mar 17, 2020
  • Author: Daniel I Slater, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Rehabilitation after stroke is often focused on compensatory strategies to restore function rather than improve impairment. [16] An example is learning to dress with one arm rather than focus on retraining use of a patient’s hemiparetic upper extremity. Such emphasis on compensatory strategies has increased with cost reduction measures that have resulted in shorter acute rehabilitation lengths of stay. [17] These decreased days in inpatient rehabilitation settings have been shown to result in worse discharge outcomes. [18] In addition, focus on compensatory techniques to complete functional tasks at the expense of therapy directed toward remediating impairment could facilitate “learned nonuse” of a paretic extremity.

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