Somek & Associates' Alison Somek, MD, Jessica Thurston, Chief Operating Officer, and Amy...
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Since qualifying as a Chartered Physiotherapist from the University of East Anglia in 2008, I have been fortunate enough to forge a career specialising in Amputee Rehabilitation, Prosthetics and Vascular Surgery. After developing broad therapeutic skills as a junior rotational physiotherapist at Broomfield Hospital and later as a senior therapist at Frimley Park Hospital (with a dual specialism in Critical Care and Vascular Surgery/Amputees), I was successful in securing my role as a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Amputee Rehabilitation and Vascular Surgery at Frimley Park Hospital in 2012. I remained in this role until February 2021 and now work full time as a clinical specialist amputee and prosthetic physiotherapist at the Dorset Orthopaedic London Clinic. I also completed my MSc degree in Amputee Rehabilitation at the University of Southampton in March 2021, earning a distinction.
My role within the private sector at Dorset Orthopaedic Limited involves assessing a wide variety of amputee patients (including paediatric patients, upper-limb amputees, poly-trauma patients and patients with multiple limb loss), undertaking joint assessment and treatment sessions with prosthetists, providing individualised and intensive prosthetic rehabilitation for upper limb and lower limb amputees, overseeing myoelectric rehabilitation and providing tailored phantom limb pain programmes for service users. Dorset Orthopaedic Limited is twinned with the Relimb team at the Royal Free Hospital, providing osseointegration surgery to upper limb and lower limb amputees, so I also have experience in the provision of specialist osseointegration rehabilitation; comprising of wound management, tailored loading programmes, manual therapy including soft tissue massage, acupuncture and graduated gait re-education. I also review patients pre-operatively to optimise their clinical status and determine the most appropriate level of amputation and liaise with multi-disciplinary team members and external services to ensure the short- and long-term needs of patients are fulfilled. I am also responsible for a caseload of patients requiring orthotics (predominantly patients with peripheral nerve injuries or spinal injuries); working closely with our orthotist to optimise a patient’s outcomes by providing rehabilitation pre and post orthotic provision. I have a specialist interest in phantom limb pain and have a qualification in Graded Motor Imagery; a technique proven to reduce the pain response of patients with chronic pathological pain states (including phantom limb pain).
I have also worked as a guest lecturer at the University of Winchester and University of Southampton; sharing knowledge and facilitating teaching sessions on amputee rehabilitation. I am an active member of BACPAR (British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation) and was recently part of the working party responsible for the development of the NICE-accredited "Clinical Guidelines for the pre and post operative management of adults with lower limb amputation" (2016) and updated the "Evidence based Clinical Guidelines for the Physiotherapy Management of Adults with Lower Limb Prostheses" (2021).
I accept instructions from both Claimant and Defendant Solicitors and Insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.