Rehabilitation Institute

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Cerebral vascular accident (stroke)

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Rehab is an important part of recovering from a stroke. Through rehabilitation, you relearn or regain basic skills such as speaking, eating, dressing and walking. The goal is to improve function so that you become as independent as possible. Regions Hospital and The Rehabilitation Unit at Regions both have specialty certifications as stroke care providers.

Early recovery

There is still so much we don’t know about how the brain compensates for the damage caused by stroke or brain attack. Some brain cells may be only temporarily damaged and may resume functioning. In some cases, the brain can reorganize its own functioning. Sometimes, a region of the brain “takes over” for a region damaged by the stroke. Stroke survivors sometimes experience remarkable and unanticipated recoveries that can’t be explained.

General recovery guidelines show:

  • 10 percent of stroke survivors recover almost completely
  • 25 percent recover with minor impairments
  • 40 percent experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care
  • 10 percent require care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • 15 percent die shortly after the stroke

Rehabilitation actually starts in the hospital as soon as possible after the stroke. In patients who are stable, rehabilitation may begin within two days after the stroke occurred and should be continued as necessary after leaving the hospital.