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Your 72-year-old patient, Mr Wilson, tore his rotator cuff while playing tennis and underwent surgical repair. He started physical therapy 4 weeks after surgery, and you have been working with him for 2 weeks. The day before his next appointment, Mr Wilson calls to cancel because he says he reinjured his shoulder while doing his physical therapy exercises. He says he plans to sue you because of the reinjury.

Fortunately, however, you documented your instructions in Mr Wilson's treatment record. This documentation includes a statement in which he confirmed that he understood the instructions, including risk of reinjury. Mr Wilson subsequently drops the lawsuit.

Although you breathe a sigh of relief, it reminds you that properly managing patients' therapy involves not only preventing reinjury after surgery, but also reducing litigation risk.

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