Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric Inpatient Physical Therapy

Rusk's pediatric physical therapy team plays an integral role in the comprehensive rehabilitation of children in our acute inpatient unit. Some of the more common conditions that our pediatric physical therapists treat include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Traumatic and acquired brain injury
  • Traumatic and acquired spinal cord injury
  • Spina bifida
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Oncologic conditions
  • Amputations and limb deficiencies
  • Post-surgical orthopedic rehabilitation

These children, who can range in age from 18 months to 21 years old, receive an average of two hours of daily physical therapy, 6 days a week. This includes individual sessions with highly trained pediatric physical therapists, as well as time working on specialized positioning equipment in order to optimize their current functional status. The ultimate goal of our inpatient pediatric rehabilitation program is to enable children to return home and go back to school. 

Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Treatment

Depending on the child’s condition, therapy sessions focus on developing various age-appropriate developmental or functional skills. To optimize the child’s functional abilities, the therapist will assess his or her equipment and bracing needs, and will also utilize state-of-the-art therapeutic equipment such as the Lokomat®, LiteGait®, and Motomed® to restore lost function. In addition, child-friendly technologies such as the Nintendo Wii® are strategically used to help encourage children to move again. The physical therapist, along with the other members of the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team, also works closely with the patient’s family to help train them for effective carry-over in the evenings, when the day’s therapy is done, and ultimately at home, once the child is discharged. 

Pediatric Outpatient Physical Therapy

Rusk's pediatric physical therapy department is an integral part of our outpatient rehabilitation program for children with disabilities. Our physical therapists work with these children, who range in age from newborn to 21 years old, to help them overcome movement dysfunctions related to a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Traumatic and acquired brain injuries
  • Traumatic and acquired spinal cord injuries
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Torticollis
  • Hypotonia
  • Developmental delay
  • Cardiac anomalies
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Spina bifida
  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Autism spectrum
  • Amputations and limb deficiencies
  • Congenital syndromes
  • Premature birth
  • Post-surgical orthopedic rehabilitation
  • Oncology (brain tumors, spinal cord tumors, osteosarcomas)
  • Muscular dystrophy

Pediatric Outpatient Rehabilitation Treatment

Physical therapy begins with a comprehensive initial evaluation, after which a treatment plan is then developed. The child’s therapy sessions will typically involve a variety of evidence-based techniques, including:

  • Gait training (including LiteGait® and Lokomat® training)
  • Building developmental skills
  • Neuromuscular reeducation
  • Manual techniques
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Balance training
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Orthotic recommendations
  • Equipment recommendations
  • Extensive family training
  • Community and school re-entry

Our pediatric rehabilitation program employs a team approach, in which our physical therapists collaborate extensively with caregivers from other departments. For children with multi-disciplinary needs, thoughtful coordination between the Physical Therapy Department and these other disciplines occurs throughout the rehabilitation process as well as during the child’s reintegration back into school.

Additional Information

For additional information about Rusk's pediatric program and services, please visit our Pediatric Inuries and Conditions page or call us at 212-598-6248.