Conferences & Events
Rusk Rehabilitation: 75 Years Strong
Join us in NYC for a conference and celebration presented by NYU Langone Health.
Mapping the Future of Rehabilitation Medicine
The incoming president of the AAPM&R discusses his vision for the future of the specialty.
A Legacy of Mild TBI & Impacted Cognitive Function for Military Personnel
Researchers examine the potential lingering effects of blast-induced neurotrauma on active service members and veterans.
Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration Elevated in Patients with Severe COVID-19
Study finds some biomarkers exceed levels found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Vocal Fold Mucosa-Muscle Interactions Revealed for First Time
Cell-level interactions suggests a promising new avenue for research on laryngeal dysfunction and voice disorders.
Severe Hearing Loss: Exploring Unmet Needs Among Veterans
New research probes factors influencing treatment for those with severe hearing loss.
NYU Langone Health: A Leader in Rehabilitation
research funding in 2021
annual outpatient visits
Complex Case Spotlight
The Rehabilitation Course for the World’s First Face & Double Hand Transplant
An Extraordinarily Complex Case
In July 2018, a car accident left 22-year-old Joseph DiMeo with third-degree burns covering 89 percent of his body and post-traumatic facial deformity from composite tissue loss of the face.
Additional diagnoses were severe neck contracture, bilateral partial facial paresis, respiratory failure, tracheostomy, and oral incompetence. Tissue loss had also caused vision loss and hearing impairment.
A Pioneering Surgery
Mr. DiMeo underwent approximately 20 reconstructive surgeries, yet still suffered extensive physical deficits, such as amputated fingertips, lips, and eyelids, and severe facial scarring.
The full face and bilateral forearm transplantation took approximately 23 hours and involved a team of more than 140 healthcare professionals, led by Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS.
Extensive Hospital Stays
Post-surgery, Mr. DiMeo spent five weeks in intensive care before being able to see his face for the first time. Dr. Rodriguez continued to monitor his progress and the many nerve and tissue grafts.
Mr. DiMeo then remained inpatient at Rusk Rehabilitation under the direction of Jeffrey M. Cohen, MD.
Intensive Rehabilitation Program
Rehabilitation demands extended far beyond face transplant to include new hand-based orthoses and exercises to improve hand and grip strength. The nursing team educated Mr. DiMeo on the importance of daily standing and walking, plus passive stretching to prevent contractures. Therapists also performed tissue massage to help remodel scar tissue on his forearms, hands, shoulders, and neck.
Hand Therapy and Fine Motor Dexterity
Prior to rehabilitation, Mr. DiMeo’s serial opposition, or his ability to touch digits 2 through 5 to the tip of his thumb, was significantly impaired. After extensive work on his fine motor dexterity, his grip strength markedly improved, allowing him to complete fine motor tasks independently, such as the ability to pick up a utensil. Read The Full Article
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