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A Helping Hand

How One Woman Bounced Back Using Speciality Services from UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation

Following an arthritis diagnosis and excruciating pain in the thumb and wrist, southern Maryland local Debbie DeMarr made the decision to pursue surgical treatment. She chose to undergo an arthroplasty, which involved a tendon transfer from the wrist to the thumb. 

Immediately following the procedure, DeMarr’s surgeon recommended occupational therapy to help during the recovery process. She then turned to UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation, where hand therapy specialist Courtney Potter was able to set up a quick and personalized roadmap to success. 

For DeMarr, the road to recovery started with a regimen of three appointments per week at first. As she progressed, the schedule continued to evolve as well. Steadily, these appointments dropped to two and then one meeting per week over the course of approximately three months. 

The techniques used in these sessions also varied greatly. Each one was different, targeting specific movements and muscles, building in intensity as DeMarr advanced in her recovery. Through these exercises she was able to regain strength and flexibility while avoiding negative symptoms post-surgery. 

The best part about the tools provided by Potter is that they weren’t limited to just the sessions — and they didn’t require fancy medical equipment. In fact, DeMarr was able to practice the designated movements on her own from home each day, so there were never any gaps in her rehabilitation. 

Since completing her rehabilitation journey, DeMarr is feeling better than ever. She asserts that Potter is to thank for her success: “Her guidance and encouragement helped me to fast track my recovery. Her demeanor was friendly and her technique was precise. I don’t think my progress would have been so quick without her!”

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