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Rehabilitation services

Rehabilitation services

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa offers evidence-based pediatric physical, occupational and speech language therapy for children who have orthopaedic and neurological diagnoses that may be related to sports injury or developmental conditions. Our mission is to provide comprehensive high-quality evaluation and treatment to rehabilitate the child. We believe that every child is entitled to develop physically and mentally to their full potential and lead a life of optimum quality.

Team approach

Under the medical direction of our pediatric physiatrist, Richard Radecki, M.D., one-on-one treatment is provided by specially trained and licensed therapists, including occupational and physical therapists, and a speech pathologist. We are part of a dedicated team of health care professionals who work together for the child's recovery or rehabilitation using many innovative resources, new technology and tools. Functional therapy goals are developed, individualized and executed in a child-friendly environment to meet the needs of the patient, utilizing a family-centered approach to help children reach their maximum potential, improve function and enhance quality of life. Therapists work closely with the medical and patient care teams, including the hospital’s onsite Pediatric Orthotics and Prosthetics Services – Southeast, LLC, and seating departments, to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

Multidisciplinary care

  • Gross and fine motor skill development
  • Strength, power, endurance and flexibility training
  • Gait training with and without assistive devices
  • Pain management
  • Return-to-play athletics training
  • Customized durable medical equipment evaluation, including manual and power wheelchairs, walkers, gait trainers, strollers, bath supports and dressing aids
  • Custom splint fabrication
  • Upper and lower extremity prosthetic training
  • Sensory integration
  • Functional mobility skills to improve independence, including transfers, bed mobility and activities of daily living
  • Speech language therapy
  • Augmentative communication
  • Swallowing and feeding interventions

Therapeutic equipment

  • Traverse rock climbing wall
  • Suspension equipment
  • Wii interactive video game systems
  • Game®Cycle
  • Treadmill
  • Alter®G anti-gravity treadmill
  • Stationary, adaptive and recumbent bikes
  • Fluidotherapy
  • Ultrasound
  • WalkAide
  • Functional electrical stimulation (FES)

Specialty programs


The Armeo®Spring Pediatric is a state-of-the art therapy device that supplements conventional therapy for children who are at least 4 years old with movement impairments in the arms and hands resulting from conditions such as cerebral palsy or brachial plexus injury. Through an adjustable weight support, the arm is exercised in a 3-D workspace while playing virtual reality games. The child receives constant feedback and motivation during training. The Armeo®Spring Pediatric can train entire arm movements or focus on individual joints including grip strength.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa medical staff will make a referral for occupational therapy. The occupational therapist will complete an evaluation to determine baseline function and develop goals for therapy, which will include an individualized upper limb training program using the Armeo®Spring Pediatric. The child’s performance for each upper limb motor task can be accurately measured in the computer during each session. This allows the therapist to objectively track the child’s improvement towards their functional goals.

Pediatric Lokomat Pro walking therapy

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa houses one of the only Lokomat systems in Florida aimed to assist children (at least 4 years old) and adolescents with their ability to walk and perform functional activities. The Lokomat allows children of various walking abilities to experience:

  •  A guided and repeatable walking pattern
  •  Reduced muscle tone
  •  Increased circulation – and may provide functional benefits to reduce complications of immobility

Children with any of following conditions may benefit from Lokomat therapy:

  •  Cerebral palsy
  •  Traumatic/non-traumatic brain injury
  •  Incomplete paraplegia/quadriplegia (spinal cord injury or spina bifida)
  •  Rett syndrome
  •  Neuromuscular disease
  •  Stroke/hemiplegia
  •  Muscle weakness
  •  Degenerative lower extremity joint disease

The Lokomat has a pair of robotic gait orthoses with hip and knee joints, which are precisely sized to the child and attached by cuffs and straps. The child’s body weight is supported by a harness, which lowers the child onto the treadmill through the computer system. Computer visual feedback games and the therapist help motivate the child during each session.

This program is under the medical direction of Richard Radecki, M.D., who will provide referral to the Lokomat program. A physical therapy evaluation will be performed initially by the certified physical therapist and throughout the Lokomat therapy to measure improvement and determine how many sessions are indicated to help with achieving maximum benefit for each patient. The effectiveness of this treatment varies from patient to patient. Patients should be able to commit to 60 minutes of therapy per session at a minimum, two days per week for six to eight weeks.

To make an appointment, refer a patient, or to inquire about the therapeutic services and programs, please contact the hospital to make an appointment by calling 813-866-7740.