What is the Ortho Rehab Clinic?

The Ortho Rehab Clinic treats babies, children and teens with cerebral palsy (CP) and other neuromuscular disorders, such as neuromuscular scoliosis and spina bifida. Our goal is to help your child move through the world more easily and have the best possible function and quality of life.

Seattle Children’s offers the most comprehensive care in the Pacific Northwest for children with CP.

How will the Ortho Rehab Clinic meet my child’s needs?

We see children who are affected by neuromuscular disorders in a wide range of ways – from those who move around without any help to those who use a wheelchair.

    • Experts from Orthopedics (who specialize in treating children’s muscles, bones and joints) and Rehabilitation Medicine (who specialize in helping children get used to conditions that affect function) work together to evaluate your child’s needs.
    • In the Ortho Rehab Clinic, you may see an orthopedic surgeon and a rehabilitation doctor or nurse practitioner at the same time in the same room. This way they can talk with you and each other in real time about the best care for your child.
    • To focus your child’s specific health concerns and make scheduling easier for you, team members also see children separately in the Orthopedics Clinic or the Rehabilitation Clinic.

    • Your team will take into account everything they learn from you and your child, and they will consider all of the possible treatment options to design a treatment plan custom-made for your child and family.
    • We offer many nonsurgical options as well as advanced surgical procedures, carefully combining and timing treatments to get the best results for your child.

What services do you offer?

  • Physical therapy, including serial casting and gait training with a system that supports your child’s weight while they practice walking (SafeGait)
  • Occupational therapy, such as constraint-induced therapy
  • Speech and language therapy, including augmentative and alternative communication for children who do not talk
  • Orthotics and bracing to support your child’s body or help them move
  • Medicines taken by mouth to reduce stiff muscles (spasticity)
  • Botox (botulinum toxin) injections and phenol injections to reduce spasticity
  • Orthopedic surgery, including single-event multilevel surgery:
    • To release muscles, tendons and ligaments that keep your child’s joints from moving (contractures)
    • To prevent contractures from getting worse
    • To change the shape of bones deformed by contractures
    • To align bones to improve your child’s function, comfort or position, such as how they sit in a wheelchair
  • Neurosurgery:
    • To reduce spasticity in your child’s legs (selective dorsal rhizotomy)
    • To place a pump in your child’s abdomen that delivers medicine to reduce spasticity throughout your child’s body (baclofen pump)
  • Care for your child’s nutrition needs, sleep, behavior and other health issues with the Neurodevelopmental team

Read more about cerebral palsy treatment at Seattle Children’s.

Who’s on the team?

Orthopedic surgeons and rehabilitation doctors and nurse practitioners see children in the Ortho Rehab Clinic. They provide or oversee many parts of your child’s treatment.

Many Seattle Children’s physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists provide care for children with cerebral palsy or other neuromuscular disorders.

Based on your child’s needs, your child may also see providers from other areas of Seattle Children’s, such as Neurodevelopmental, Neurology, Neurosurgery, the Hand and Upper Extremity Program and the Tone Management Program.

Providers in the program include:

Orthopedic surgeons

Rehabilitation doctors

Rehabilitation nurse practitioner

Scheduling an Appointment With the Ortho Rehab Clinic