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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

Physical Therapy Can Be A Helpful Tool When You Break Your Leg

by Francisco Arnold

When you break your leg badly enough that you have to have surgery on it in order to make sure that it heals right, one of the things that your orthopedic surgeon is going to do is make sure that you have physical therapy, both after the surgery and then again after you get your cast off for good. There are different reasons that you will need to have physical therapy at the times that you do. 

Mobility Training

The reason to get physical therapy when you first break your leg and after your surgery is that you need to have some mobility training. In fact, your doctor and physical therapist may insist on it before you leave the hospital. When you do this kind of therapy, you are going to learn how to use the crutches or a walker that you will need to use to get around. It can be tricky to figure out exactly how to walk using those devices, especially if you aren't allowed to put any weight on that particular leg. You will also learn the safest and correct way to go up and down stairs, get in and out of cars, and even how to get off the toilet. These may not seem like big things, but your body weight is thrown off by the cast and your balance will change. Learning how to do this safely, under the eyes of a physical therapist, will make you safer in the long run. 

Strengthening Exercises

After you get the cast or casts off, your leg is going to be weaker than the other one. You may notice that it looks a little punier than it did before and it just doesn't feel as strong. There's a good reason for that. Since the muscles haven't worked like they have with your other leg, they started to atrophy. The physical therapist will give you some exercises which will get your leg stronger and feeling better in no time. Those exercises can also help with your proprioception. That is the sense of knowing where your body is in space. When you close your eyes, stretch out your arms, and then reach in to touch your nose, that's proprioception. Having part of your body in a cast and out of whack for a while can throw that sense slightly off. Your physical therapist will be able to give you some exercises that will remind your body of where your leg is in space. 

If you have broken your leg, your doctor may recommend that you have physical therapy, both right after you break your leg and then again after you get your cast off. Find a physical therapist like those at Hands-On Physical Therapy to help you with your leg.