Crystal Griffin, left, with Shasta McAnally, physical therapist assistant

Thirty-four-year-old Crystal Griffin never expected to need rehabilitation in a skilled nursing center, but thanks to her experience at The Heritage Center in Morristown, she is walking again and back at her local factory job.


A car accident left her with several broken bones, including both her legs, her heel bones, knee caps and left shoulder. After surgery, she came to The Heritage Center on Feb. 16.


“When I came here, it was hard for me to do anything,” Griffin said. “I was bedridden. I couldn’t use my hands, bend my knees or put weight through my arms and legs.”


Physical and occupational therapists worked with Griffin to help her regain strength, mobility, endurance and the ability to take care of herself. They started her off with gentle exercises at her bedside until she could tolerate out-of-bed activities.


The occupational therapy team retrained Griffin on how to do the basic tasks she would need to do at home, such as getting dressed, grooming herself and feeding herself. They used manual therapy and stretching, as well as resistive exercises, and they taught her compensatory strategies. As she improved, they worked on more leisure activities and personal interest areas.


The physical therapy team worked primarily on strengthening Griffin’s lower body. She was able to progress from standing to walking with a walker to walking on the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®, a treadmill with a zip-up enclosure that creates a vacuum and allows patients to practice walking with reduced weight.


“The therapists worked really hard to get me mobile,” said Griffin. “Now I am independent again and able to drive my car for outpatient rehab here at Heritage.”


Griffin returned home on May 26 and is continuing therapy twice a week. She has returned to work in quality control at a local factory.