2016 03 07
After sustaining a trauma, a swedish citizen chose treatment in lithuania
Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy
After sustaining a trauma in her home country, a Swedish citizen and IT coordinator Ivi Soomagi was treated in Sweden but without sufficient attention from the rehabilitation specialists – just a few consultations by a physiotherapist and a booklet with recommended exercises. So, she decided to undergo rehabilitation in Vilnius while on her business trips. We talked to Ivi about the current state of her health, her treatment in Lithuania and her future plans.
Do you come to Lithuania often?
In 2015, I was appointed to work in one of the company’s divisions in Vilnius, Lithuania. This year, I expect to come to Vilnius five or six times for business trips.
How and when did you sustain your trauma?
During my vacation in August, I was in Sweden, but on the first day after the holiday, as I was going to the office in Stockholm, I fell on a cobbled street at a railway station and broke my shoulder in two places. I was not allowed to move my arm for six weeks and it was immobilised with belts to keep it stable.
What aid were you given and what treatment were you prescribed in Sweden?
Two weeks later, an X-ray examination was carried out and the orthopaedist decided that the break was healing well. Afterwards, I met with physiotherapists three times and they gave me a booklet with exercises I was supposed to do. Eight weeks later, I returned to my work in Vilnius.
Why did you decide to apply to the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in Lithuania?
I was doing the arm exercises as prescribed, but I wasn’t sure I was doing them correctly and didn’t feel any progress. I felt I needed help. I asked my colleague from the human resources division if there was a clinic in Vilnius that could help. I was recommended to apply to the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.
What were your priorities when choosing a medical institution in Lithuania?
I contacted them and asked if they could help me with arm rehabilitation. I was offered to meet with the sports medicine physician Kęstutis Linkus, so I decided to go and meet and consult him.
What treatment were you prescribed in Lithuania and how long did it take?
Almost every day that I was in Vilnius I went for hour-long treatment sessions with Dr. Linkus. For the first 30 minutes, he would help me exercise, and he would spend the remaining time passively exercising my arm and shoulder. At the end of the year, the kinesitherapy Audrius Šalavėjus also arranged several very effective treatment sessions for me according to the Mulligan concept.
Did the treatment meet your expectations?
I went to the treatment centre with an open mind and without any expectations, because it was a new experience for me. So I can say that the treatment exceeded my expectations. I was happy to see my arm improving, and this motivated me.
I had heard stories from my friends and colleagues in Sweden about how people’s shoulder functions could not be fully restored after suffering trauma because they had stopped exercising. I was provided with all information on how to exercise correctly. They also focused on me, for example, improving my equilibrium and general well-being.
How are you feeling now and how do you plan to continue your treatment?
I have a long road ahead until I’m completely happy with my shoulder. Seeing as my employment contract ended on 31 December, that was the last day I visited the centre. Since my return to Sweden, I’ve kept exercising at home and sometimes go and see a physiotherapist at the clinic. I feel I have to be grateful to Dr. Linkus for giving me a firm foundation for ongoing and future rehabilitation. This experience also helped me to understand what could be expected from the treatment and to set higher standards for the treatment I receive in Sweden.
Do you plan to use the services of the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in the future?
As soon as I come to Vilnius, I plan to visit the centre for a check-up.
Obvious results after rehabilitation
Ivi Soomagi’s treatment in Lithuania was attended to by the sports medicine physician at the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Kęstutis Linkus. “I believe the patient chose our centre because it is known to Lithuanians as well as foreigners. The period of time that the centre has been in operation may also have helped her decide. Perhaps it was important for her to find a clinic providing service in accordance with the highest standards. Our clinic holds international certificates and has implemented service standards,” Dr Linkus said.
“After a trauma of this kind, the services provided to the patient in Sweden were not sufficient. That’s why, while on a business trip in Vilnius, she decided to start rehabilitation treatment at the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.”
The patient already had a shoulder contracture (substantial restriction of articular mobility), disordered arm function and movements and weakened muscles. She could not perform everyday motions, sleep well or work and was in constant pain. To restore the shoulder joint amplitude, Ivi carried out the exercises recommended by the physician for two months including breaks. In addition, the joint had to be exercised passively, so that when a specialist moved the joint for the patient, various massages and muscle activation techniques were deployed. After two months, the shoulder movement range was 70-80% restored.
“During the treatment, the patient learned to do exercises that facilitated the symptoms of the fracture; after exercising, her well-being improved, and the pain decreased to the minimum. She was recommended to have a control X-ray examination performed to assess the bone healing, but in Sweden, due to long waits and bureaucratic procedures, Ivi did not receive this service. We invoked the orthopaedists-traumatologists at our centre who specialise in the field of shoulder joints. After performing a control X-ray examination and establishing that the patient was healing successfully, the decision was made to increase the intensity of the exercises and prescribe additional exercises to improve coordination and develop the stability of the body as additional prophylaxis to prevent the effects of any further falls,” Dr. Linkus explained.
According to the doctor, trained people fall down differently and consequently sustain less severe traumas. People who are not trained, who are tired or elderly, fall more frequently because their body reacts to the changed environmental conditions too slowly. The body should adapt quickly, tense the appropriate muscles and maintain balance. If this system is late by just a few milliseconds, the person falls and often sustains an injury. It is quite a different matter when the person is trained; in this case, the injury can be substantially lighter or can simply be avoided altogether,” Dr. Linkus said.