Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Wake Forest Baptist combines most of the Medical Center’s rehabilitation services. PM&R is a nonsurgical, highly collaborative medical specialty that focuses on restoring patient functionality, in adults and children, following injury or illness. The most common conditions for patients participating in these programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Brain disorders, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy
  • Chronic pain, including back and neck pain
  • Major bone or joint surgery, severe burns, or limb amputation
  • Severe arthritis becoming worse over time
  • Severe weakness after recovering from a serious illness (such as infection, heart failure or respiratory failure)
  • Spinal cord injury or brain injury

Children may need rehabilitation services for:

  • Down syndrome or other genetic disorders
  • Intellectual disability
  • Muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular disorders
  • Sensory deprivation disorder, autism or developmental disorders
  • Speech disorders and language problems

Where Do I Receive Rehabilitation Care?

PM&R manages inpatient rehabilitation beds at the Sticht Center and coordinates outpatient rehabilitation services, working collaboratively with the Comprehensive Cancer CenterOtolaryngology, Orthopaedics, Trauma, Neurology and Neurological Surgery departments depending on patient need.

Partnering with the patient and family, an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation specialists, led by physicians specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, prepares an individualized plan for each patient, with the ultimate goal of improving their functional independence and discharging them to their home. Wake Forest Baptist’s inpatient rehabilitation programs have been awarded seven program accreditations from CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

How Does Rehabilitation Help?

The goal of rehabilitation therapy is to teach people how to take care of themselves as much as possible. The focus is often on daily tasks such as eating, bathing, using the bathroom and moving from a wheelchair to a bed.

Sometimes, the goal is more challenging, such as restoring full function to one or more parts of the body. Rehabilitation experts use many tests to evaluate a person's problems and monitor their recovery.

A full rehabilitation program and treatment plan may be needed to help with medical, physical, social, emotional, and work-related problems, including:

  • Therapy for specific medical problems
  • Advice about setting up their home to maximize their function and safety
  • Help with wheelchairs, splints and other medical equipment
  • Help with financial and social issues

Family and caregivers may also need help adjusting to their loved one's condition and knowing where to find resources in the community.

The Rehabilitation Team

PM&R integrates the services of rehabilitation physicians, nursing, rehabilitative psychologists and additional therapy modalities including physical, occupational, recreational and speech therapy in order to comprehensively approach a patient’s medical, physical, cognitive, social, emotional and vocational needs.

At Wake Forest Baptist, our goal is to improve the quality of life and the abilities of each individual we serve. Following life-altering injury or illness, we will help you return to the highest level of functional independence possible within your home, job and community.

Wake Forest Baptist Expert Talks About Rehabilitation Care

David Lacey, MD, shares information about Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center’s Acute Brain Injury Unit. Lacey is medical director of Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Services, which helps rehabilitate and restore optimal function to people with injuries and illnesses to the muscles, bones, tissues and nervous system, such as strokes, spinal cord injuries, major trauma, amputations, brain injuries and neurological diseases.