Loss of balance, numbness, and shoulder pain. These are the symptoms Louise was experiencing for seven months before she could get any answers. It had gotten to a point where Louise had to use a cane to walk, she could not bend over without losing balance, and she was unable to continue working her catering job. After many doctors’ appointments, multiple imaging studies, and many months of frustration, a Schwannoma in her thoracic spine was found. Schwannoma is a rare tumor that forms when cells called “Schwann Cells,” whose purpose is to protect nerve cells, abnormally grow and divide. Surgery was successfully performed on August 25, 2021 to remove the tumor that spanned T1-T4. Louise then received physical therapy in her home to begin the recovery process.
She began with Phoenix Physical Therapy towards the end of September to continue her journey. A personalized program including strengthening, balance exercises, obstacle courses, and much more was created for Louise to get back to not only the simpler things like kneeling, but the things she loves doing. Now four months later, Louise has been able to return to her normal life. She has returned to catering, she no longer needs a cane to walk, and she is able to walk up and down stairs normally, even while carrying trays for her catering job! After months of searching for answers, Louise has made great strides towards putting this behind her. When asked about her journey, Louise says, “I feel more safe, confident and have more energy since starting physical therapy.” Phoenix Physical Therapy is glad to have been a part of Louise’s journey!