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PTA Blog Talk

Assessing Our Own

Published January 27, 2010 1:25 PM by Jason Marketti
After being in the profession for greater than 10 years, some things just come naturally, like gait assessment.  I find myself assessing my own family a great deal as they walk back and forth in front of the T.V.  This seems to occur more often when the UFC fights are on and usually right before the big knock out and I end up missing the last seconds of the "fight of the century."

While I am watching them walk, I notice the small things on my daughter like bilateral internal rotation of the hips with knee valgus with a medial prominence of the head of the talus in pes planus.  My first thought is to rush out and get two supportive knee braces and shoe inserts then have her do thousands of hip abduction exercises at the kitchen sink while I stabilize her hips.  Then stabilization exercises to increase her core strength. 

I see the antalgic gait of my wife when her knee swells up and the compensatory motions she uses while ascending and descending stairs, and the way my son will internally rotate his shoulder with elbow flexion and supination at the forearm after he sprains it.

Should I immediately assess C5-C8 for my son or chalk it up as "teenage injury" and realize that ice and ibuprofen will take care of it within a week?

Am I being paranoid when I assess all of this, or should I realize that some things will resolve on their own (spontaneous recovery)?  I do the wound care in the house for scrapes and deep cuts that would make Carrie Sussman proud of how I accomplished this with limited supplies at home. 

In general, I follow the RICE method with my family and rather than tell them to "Take a lap" when they injure themselves, I observe and assess on which intervention is best.  Sometimes the best intervention is a hug and kiss.  I don't know if this would document well for 75 minutes on their ARD though. 


This is cute. You sound like a great dad. But you think too much.  Give yourself a break! And don't be afraid to use simple terms like "knock-kneed" and "flat-footed".  Who are you trying to impress, anyway?

Andi February 19, 2010 6:42 PM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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