Spinal Cord Injury

When it comes to pediatric rehabilitation, there is no place like The Children’s Institute. Our Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program is one of the only programs of its kind in Pennsylvania.
Led by our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Maryanne Henderson, this program is dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment to help children with spinal cord injuries be as independent as possible and reach their full potential. We offer family-focused and child-centered care that covers the continuum of needs from birth to young adulthood.

spinal injury

The goals of the spinal cord injury rehabilitation program are to:


  • Enable each patient to reach his or her fullest potential
  • Restore quality of life for patients and their families
  • Maximize patients’ neurological recovery, function and independence
  • Create a smooth transition for patients to home, school and into the community

Specially designed state-of-the-art facilities and technology:

  • Pediatric treatment rooms
  • Locomotor training (outpatient)
  • Two therapeutic pools
  • Playrooms and playgrounds
  • Tailor-made adaptive equipment
  • Therapeutic garden

At The Children’s Institute, we offer both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation in order to accommodate the individual needs of our patients and their families. We treat children and adolescents who have suffered paralysis or impairment as a result of a spinal cord complication, including:

  • Injury 
  • Tumor 
  • Infection 
  • Developmental Disorders 
  • Congenital Disorders 

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation is an intensive therapy program that provides treatment to help children and youth regain skills that have been lost as result of spinal cord dysfunction. Treatments include at least three hours of therapy a day:

Our Experienced Treatment Team

Our doctors and staff have helped thousands of children and youth recover from traumatic spinal cord injuries and non-traumatic spinal disorders.

  • Physicians 
  • Pediatric physiatrist 
  • Psychologist
  • Case manager 
  • Nurse 
  • Nutritionist
  • Physical therapist 
  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech/language pathologist
  • Recreational therapist 
  • Social worker 
  • Respiratory therapist

In addition, family members provide essential emotional support and are encouraged to take a hands-on role in the recovery process. Upon discharge, the patient can continue his or her treatment program on an outpatient basis at one of our convenient community locations.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation is intended for individuals who are able to stay or return home, and treatment may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech/Language therapy
  • Physiatrist consultation and follow-up

Our outpatient locations are conveniently located:

  • Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill)
  • Bridgeville
  • Wexford
  • Irwin (Norwin Hills)

Wellness Program This exercise program is designed to meet the needs of individuals who are unable to exercise in a typical gym setting. Patients and former patients can use our in-house gym after obtaining a doctor’s approval and a completed evaluation from an occupational or physical therapist. Participation in the Wellness Program typically begins when a patient’s need for physical or occupational therapy decreases or is completed.

Download our printable information sheet here.

Spinal Cord Injury Spinal Cord Injury (266 KB)

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