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Antoine was admitted into acute care 3 days ago with a right middle cerebral artery stroke. During the first 48 hours after admission, his left arm and left leg exhibited decreased muscle tone, but since then Antoine’s muscle tone in the left arm and left leg has increased.

What needs to be included in Antoine’s intervention to maintain or improve the motions of all extremities?

Under what circumstances would these interventions change from being considered “skilled” to nonskilled?

What progression of mobility would be appropriate?

image The complex ability to move the body purposefully through space begins with the capacity for movement. Because the frame of the body is a skeleton made up of many bony segments, movement becomes possible anywhere two bones come together to form a nonfibrous joint. Range of motion (ROM) is the amount of movement available between any two of these bony levers and is commonly used as a measure of flexibility. ROM is also the name given to the patient care technique of moving a joint through its available motion. The technique of ROM is different from stretching. Stretching is a specific technique designed to increase a muscle’s available ROM, whereas ROM serves to monitor and maintain the capacity for motion that already exists.

image Although ROM occurs between two bones that move relative to each other, joint movement involves more than just the bones or even the muscles. The nature of the joint capsule where muscles and ligaments attach, the shape and condition of the articulating bony surfaces, and the soft tissue surrounding the joint help determine the direction and extent of joint movement. Any changes to the joint structure may therefore negatively affect the amount of available ROM, creating ROM restrictions that limit a patient’s functional activities. Trauma, joint diseases, systemic diseases, neurological restrictions, musculoskeletal restrictions, immobilization, and disuse are some of the possible causes of changes in joint ROM.

When a patient is at risk for such limitation, ROM techniques are performed as part of an overall program addressing a patient’s functional goals. Because of the inherent complexity of joint motion, ROM is also a valuable assessment tool. The quantity and quality of a person’s ROM can provide diagnostic and prognostic data and can serve as a marker for patient improvement or decline.


Osteokinematics and Arthrokinematics: A Review

Osteokinematics is the movement of one bone in relation to another, that is, a bone moving around a joint axis, as occurs when the forearm is moved in elbow flexion. However, for that osteokinematic motion to occur normally, the bony surfaces involved in the joint have to move upon each other in specific coordinated patterns. Arthrokinematics describes this internal joint motion that makes the osteokinematic motion possible (see Box 9-1). ROM exercises must therefore be performed with ...

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