Stroke Rehabilitation

The most significant recovery gains for survivors of stroke, brain aneurysms and other neurovascular conditions happen in the first three to six months. To achieve optimal recovery, these patients require specialized rehabilitation care. The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Stroke and Neurovascular Program is one of the most comprehensive rehabilitation care centers in Wisconsin. 

Rehabilitation starts as soon as possible for hospitalized patients and progresses on an outpatient basis depending on each patient’s needs. Patients initially hospitalized elsewhere for stroke or other neurovascular conditions often turn to our rehabilitation experts to help them get back to their lives as well as possible. In 2013:

  • 145 stroke patients were treated in our inpatient rehabilitation program.
  • The average length of stay was 17 days.
  • Upon release, 68 percent returned home, while the remaining patients transferred to subacute or skilled nursing facilities.
  • There were 2,808 outpatient appointments (357 new patients).
  • The average number of outpatient therapy appointments per patient was six physical therapy, 5.7 occupational therapy and 7.8 speech therapy sessions.

Rehabilitation Experts Specially Trained in Recovery from Stroke and Other Neurovascular Conditions

Led by an internationally recognized neurorehabilitation physician, rehabilitation team members are specially trained to help patients recover from conditions that affect the neurovascular system of the brain and spine. They provide physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation and vocational rehabilitation to help get patients back to the activities they love. Stroke nurse specialists, case managers, social workers and rehabilitation psychologists round out the team. The goal is to maximize health – physically, mentally and emotionally. Additional expertise is also available for treating related conditions such as spasticity and depression.

Patients Benefit from the Latest Rehabilitation Approaches and Technology

As part of an academic medical center, our program’s experts offer patients the latest proven rehabilitation techniques and technology to speed and enhance recovery. It is one of the only providers in the region to use function electrical stimulators that may help improve the abilities of people with neurological conditions that affect leg and arm use. Patients with walking and balance needs benefit from our Human Motion Analysis Laboratory (“Gait Lab”), operated in collaboration with Marquette University. An international research leader, the lab offers services found at only a few centers in the state.

Our Research Brings Innovation to Patient Care

Today’s research efforts at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin translate into treatment innovations for our patients. Approaches such as robotic training are regularly being trialed as our experts look for more effective ways to help our patients recover their health following a neurovascular event.

Recognized as a Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Program

CARF logoThe Stroke and Neurovascular Program has achieved accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) as a certified stroke rehabilitation program. This means that the program follows CARF standards for the stages of stroke rehabilitation and actively works to prevent recurrent strokes. Certified programs are recognized for helping patients improve function, providing valuable education and encouraging patients to take an active role in managing their health.

Support and Education

Stroke Support Group - The Stroke Support Group allows stroke survivors and their families to exchange ideas and offer encouragement to each other. A list of other local stroke support groups is available from the American Stroke Association.

Peer Visitor Program - In collaboration with the American Stroke Association, the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Stroke and Neurovascular Program also sponsors a Peer Visitor Program. Through the program, volunteer stroke survivors attend Stroke Support Group meetings regularly to answer questions and share their personal experiences and successes. The program, facilitated by a psychologist, is designed to help educate and provide wellness for new stroke patients and their families. For more information or to volunteer to be a peer visitor, please call 414-805-3666 or 800-272-3666. 

Stroke Prevention Education - Froedtert & the Medical College also offer community education programs about stroke prevention. These fulfill the Institute of Medicine’s aim for health care that is patient-centered.