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What Is Rehabilitation Medicine?

Rehabilitation medicine works to help restore movement and functional ability, and enhance quality of life for people who have physical disabilities or injuries. Rehabilitation medicine specialists—also called physiatrists—are physicians who specialize in the rehabilitation care and medical management of children who have musculoskeletal conditions.

Working closely with other specialty areas such as neurology, neurosurgery, and orthopedics, our physicians treat conditions such as cerebral palsy and related conditions,  neuromuscular disorders, as well as many other conditions that affect your child’s development. They oversee rehabilitation care when children experience loss of function secondary to brain injury, spinal cord injury, illness or stroke.

At Gillette Children’s, you’ll have access to the highest concentration of pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialists in the nation. Gillette is one of just three pediatric specialty programs in Minnesota accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to meet the needs of young children and adolescents seeking acute inpatient rehabilitation. Gillette is one of eight U.S. pediatric inpatient rehabilitation facilities to have CARF accreditation for both its pediatric specialty and pediatric brain injury programs. 


Conditions Rehabilitation Medicine Treats

Rehabilitation medicine specialists treat children, teens and adults who have a wide variety of disabilities and complex conditions. It can also help if your child has experienced a traumatic or sports injury.

Rehabilitation medicine can benefit people who have:


Tests and Treatments.

You’ll have access to the latest technology and techniques in rehabilitation medicine at Gillette.

For Medical Management of a Complex Condition

If your child has cerebral palsy, spasticity or other complex movement disorders your Gillette specialist might recommend evaluations and treatments like:

For Rehabilitation After Surgery or Injury

If your child needs rehabilitation care following a complex procedure like selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery or single event multilevel surgery (SEMLS), or traumatic brain injury or  spinal cord injury, Gillette can help with:

For Diagnosing a Condition

The first step in an integrated treatment plan is an accurate diagnosis. Gillette offers these evaluations to help diagnose a condition:

Integrated Care

Our providers collaborate with other Gillette specialists to provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient pediatric rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. We’ll help you navigate the services you need. 

With both pediatric and adult-focused providers, you’ll be working with experts who specialize in highly complex conditions and injuries.

As your child gets older, Gillette will support your family in making the transition to adult-focused health care—older teens and adults can benefit from Gillette Adult Services.

To search for additional providers, visit Our Care Team.