Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

For children with mobility limitations, completing day to day activities and regularly participating in life’s “goings on” are reflections of overall health. Medical health, environmental and personal factors all influence a person’s ability to be involved.

We are committed to empowering kids with limited movement and their families to get the most out of their home, school and community connections. More and more families are choosing to stay at Dell for their care, understanding our specialists’ passion for providing both direct services and collaborative referrals, when necessary, to assure the best outcome for these children and adolescents. Our mind and heart is for their best function and comfort throughout their lifespan.

There are a number of therapies, medications and interventions that promote optimal health, comfort, function and participation. We seek to grow in our understanding of the health conditions and family circumstances surrounding a child’s diagnosis and help families discover the similarities and uniqueness of their child’s circumstance so that we can, together find those resources that will help facilitate their decisions around the treatment options available.

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The key next step for parents is finding the best care for your child. Our multidisciplinary team includes a range of specialists to help with even the most complex mobility challenges.
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We strive to understand and communicate:

  • A diagnosis and its potential meanings
  • Shared, realistic goals and anticipated outcomes
  • Our experiences of what is “best practice” for your child’s circumstance
  • A child, best understood by their family, and a diagnosis or treatment, best understood by our specialists must communicate their respective understandings in a way that allows a family to make routine and sometimes challenging treatment decisions without concern for the continued family/provider relationship
  • With your child’s providers in other settings; whether those be in another health systems, a school or therapy program
  • Our best understanding of and our interest in your child’s growth and development
  • The risks, benefits and alternatives of proposed treatments

Conditions Treated

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects body movement, muscle coordination and balance in infants and children. Although there is currently no cure, there are treatment options that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Motor incoordination impacts not only mobility but hand use, communication and eating. Additionally, there are a number of associated health conditions that impact both health and function. Each of these areas needs consideration to maximize health and participation.

Cerebral Palsy Podcast

Listen to a new podcast on Seton HealthLine discussing cerebral palsy and learn about the road ahead following a diagnosis.
Listen to the Podcast

Spina Bifida

When a baby’s spine doesn’t fully develop in the womb, spinal cord and nerve damage can result. Symptoms of spina bifida may be mild to severe, but can be optimized through our interdisciplinary clinic that seeks to establish a family/provider partnership to create and maintain plans for medical care, therapy services and to meet equipment needs as children develop from infancy through adolescence and then transition to adulthood.

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle tissue. Physical therapies, medication and surgery are some of the common treatment options for muscle degeneration. Our Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic seeks to provide coordinated service delivery including neurology, physiatry (rehabilitation medicine), pulmonary, cardiology, therapy, genetic counseling and social work for muscle degenerative and a number of related disorders.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Affecting the part of the spine responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement, spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disease that can vary in intensity from mild to severe.

Childhood Spinal Cord Injury

Childhood spinal cord injuries include bruising, partial tears and complete tears that create varying degrees of paralysis. This impacts health and interferes with life’s activities. Growing up with a spinal cord injury creates unique orthopedic and urologic changes over time that requires regular monitoring for prevention of other complications. Medications, therapies, bracing, equipment and sometimes surgeries that are well-timed will optimize function, which is the goal of this physiatry-led service.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A sudden trauma that results in damage to the brain is considered a traumatic brain injury, which can be treated through various surgical techniques.

Brain injury associated trauma can result from motor vehicle accidents, sports and recreational injuries, or falls. Each injury is as unique as the individual who is injured. While the resulting challenges to physical function, behavior and thinking often improve with time, the loss of function in one or more of these areas requires expert management and collaboration with the community and school for the best outcome. Our TBI follow-up clinic is led by a neuropsychology/physiatry team who understand the “ins and outs” of this injury and can optimize independence for individuals with this challenging injury.

Other sources of childhood brain injury include stroke, encephalitis, anoxia and surgery for a tumor or epilepsy. The minimization of complications and facilitation of recovery from these insults requires a team of experts that follow affected children through the ER into the ICU and rehabilitation services and continues to follow children and families after they return to their home, community and school.  Coordinated care involving multiple specialists effects a family-centered approach.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a nervous system disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system, which also effects what is a paralysis with a prolonged recovery.