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The Legacy, The Future

AUA Student and AUA Alumnus Present Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research at National Conference.

Fourth-year medical student Olivia Onwodi and Dr. Kirill Alekseyev (AUA Class of 2014), a Resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, presented two posters at the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R). The university provided a research stipend of $500 to cover Olivia’s expenses at the national convention, which took place in Denver, Colorado from October 12-15.

One poster was entitled “Functional Outcome in Lumbar Discitis in Rehabilitation Unit.” In this retrospective case-control study, Olivia, Dr. Alekseyev, and their co-researchers identified 100 adults with varying severities of discitis, an infection of the intervertebral disc. They looked at treatments and complications during hospital stays over a 15-year period and concluded that the lumbar spine was the most common area for discitis, the L3-L4 area was the most common site within the lumbar spine for discitis, and urinary tract infections were the most common pre-existing causes of lumbar discitis. For the patients being studied, interventional pain medications and/or antibiotics proved to be effective in increasing Functional Independence Measure (FIM), the functional ability of a patient during a rehabilitation period in a hospital setting.

“Prevalence, Complications, and Pain Management of Spinal Malignancies in an Acute IRF Setting,” the other poster, detailed the results of a retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study of 68 adult patients in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) over a three-year period.  The researchers sought to determine how functional spinal metastasis patients admitted to acute rehabilitation were, and to address pain management efficacy in treating them. The team found that patients with a low FIM when admitted were likely to be discharged to a facility, and patients with a high FIM at the time of admission were likely to return home after their stay in an IRF. When patients were discharged after receiving treatments such as steroids and opioids, specifically Morphine, their FIM increased by an average of 3.85 points.

It’s exciting to see our students’ names appear alongside those of respected physicians at events on the national level like this one. Collaborations between AUA alumni and current AUA students exemplify just how tight-knit and supportive our community is. Join us in congratulating Olivia and Dr. Alekseyev!