We begin planning for a successful return home as soon as your family arrives at the hospital. Throughout the inpatient rehabilitation stay, a Gillette team discusses outpatient therapy plans with Gillette specialists or community providers.
You’ll have a family conference shortly before leaving the hospital. We'll provide recommendations for:
- Supporting recovery at home.
- Scheduling follow-up appointments.
When leaving the hospital after SDR surgery, your child can likely ride home in the same vehicle seats they used before the surgery. Be sure to use appropriate child safety seats or seat belts. If that's not possible, Gillette has E-Z-ON Vests available to loan. E-Z ON Vests allow your child to be safely secured in a vehicle while in a reclined position if they don't tolerate sitting for an extended drive. If an E-Z-ON Vest is available, the rehabilitation team will help obtain one if it's appropriate and safe for your child.
Your child might need adaptive equipment—such as a wheelchair, a standing device or a walker—when they first go home. During the inpatient program, your child will likely walk only during therapy sessions.
Therapy schedules after SDR surgery vary, but we typically recommend starting with five sessions per week after leaving the hospital. Therapy might take place at Gillette or in your local community, depending on where your family lives, insurance coverage and the available resources.
Start scheduling physical therapy appointments as far in advance as possible. During your child’s hospital stay, the Gillette rehabilitation team can help determine when the appointments should start.
If, before the rhizotomy, your child was having occupational therapy, speech therapy, or therapy related to emotional or behavioral functioning, recommendations for those therapies usually don’t change as a result of the surgery. After returning home, your child can resume these therapies at the same frequency as before the surgery.
Most kids are ready to return to school when they come home from the hospital after rhizotomy surgery. Contact your child’s school to arrange for any necessary accommodations. For example, ask about the accessibility of school facilities if your child needs to use a wheelchair for a while.
A Gillette psychologist or social worker serves as a liaison between Gillette and your child’s school. Our therapists and doctors also make recommendations about school accommodations.
Whether or not your child has ongoing therapy at Gillette, follow-up visits with the Gillette team are critical. A typical follow-up schedule includes:
- One month after surgery: A pediatric rehabilitation medicine physician performs an evaluation and updates therapy recommendations. Your family and the physician discuss a schedule for additional follow-up visits.
- Three, six and 12 months after surgery: At each visit, a pediatric rehabilitation medicine physician might perform an examination and adjust therapy recommendations. In addition, a physical therapist might record video footage to track progress. If your child can walk, they might undergo motion analysis approximately one year after surgery to assess changes in movement and energy consumption. An orthopedic surgeon also will evaluate your child’s outcome approximately one year after surgery.
Successfully identifying which patients will benefit from SDR, performing SDR surgery and providing rehabilitation care require the collaboration of a highly skilled team.
You’ll have access to a full range of services and extensive family support at Gillette. An expert team will collaborate to provide comprehensive care for your child, and will help you navigate the services you need.
SDR surgery might be just one part of your child’s treatment plan, which also might include:
- Assistive technology.
- Gait and motion analysis.
- Rehabilitation medicine.
- Rehabilitation therapies.
- Therapeutic recreation.
To help your family prepare for a hospital stay and make the most of rehabilitation care, Gillette offers support services like: