How much will I recover after a stroke?

A Answers (3)

  • Progress and recovery after a stroke depends on what part of the brain was affected and how much brain tissue actually died. A patient's motivation to get better and early treatment (particularly physical therapy and occupational therapy) are also important. Most progress tends to occur in the first three months after a stroke, but a patient can continue to improve to some degree even years later if he or she continues to work hard at it.
  • ADr. Steven Meyers, MD, Diagnostic Radiology, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem
    Most persons do improve after a stroke. Many factors influence how much someone improves. The size and location of the stroke are very important. The person's age and other medical conditions can also impact stroke recovery.

    Recovery can begin very quickly after a stroke once the person has stabilized from the initial injury. A variety of rehabilitation specialists will begin working with the stroke patient within days of the stroke to improve the chances of good recovery. 
  • In most cases people do get better over time. The effects of a stroke are greatest immediately after the stroke occurs. From then on, you may start to get better. How fast and how much you improve depends on the extent of the brain injury and the success of rehabilitation.

    • Recovering your abilities (rehabilitation) begins after the stroke is over and you’re medically stable.

    • Some improvement occurs spontaneously and relates to how the brain works again after it’s been injured.

    • Stroke rehabilitation programs help you improve your abilities and learn new skills and coping techniques.

    • Depression after stroke can interfere with rehabilitation. It’s important to treat depression.

    • Improvement often occurs most quickly in the first months after a stroke, then continues over years at a slower pace with your continued efforts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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