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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Cerebral Palsy Program

Overview

Specialized Care for Cerebral Palsy from Experienced Physiatrists

The Cerebral Palsy program at Floating Hospital for Children provides highly specialized and personalized care for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, helping them to achieve greater comfort and improve function so they can enjoy the most independent and active life.

Our physiatrists are experts in evaluating and treating children with cerebral palsy or with other related pediatric neuromuscular orders that cause disabilities. Their experience includes providing care for both physical limitations and the full range of challenges children with cerebral palsy face, from speech difficulties and gait (walking) dysfunctions to spasticity problems and limited mobility.

Our physiatrists are:

  • Harry C. Webster, MD, FAAP, Chief of Pediatric Physiatry, has treated children with cerebral palsy for more than three decades. He has been ranked multiple times as a “Top Doctor” by Boston magazine and founded the first clinic in New England using Botulinum Toxin (Botox) to treat children with spasticity.
  • Patrick Brennan, MD, is a former medical director of the pediatric unit at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where he regularly worked with severely disabled inpatients. He has cared for hundreds of children with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injuries throughout his career. Dr. Brennan was awarded a major grant to research the effects of Botox and strengthening on crouched gait in cerebral palsy patients.

Personalized Treatment Delivered with Warmth and Reassurance

Treating children with cerebral palsy is often complex because multiple symptoms combine to impede their motor skills, mobility and ability to communicate. An in-depth evaluation of your child is the first step in unraveling that complexity so we can completely understand his or her symptoms, challenges, strengths and goals. With this knowledge, we design a comprehensive care plan to help your child reach full potential and pursue his or her dreams, such as going to school, meeting and making new friends and enjoying family life.

The physiatric (treatments we recommend as part of your child’s care plan are mostly non-surgical, some are minimally invasive, and all of them are delivered with warmth and compassion by Dr. Webster and Dr. Brennan.

Some of the advanced therapies we prescribe include:

  • Complete spasticity management, including Botox injections, per-oral g-tube medications and intrathecal baclofen pump evaluations
  • Recommendations for seating (e.g., chairs, computer workstations, wheelchairs)
  • Prescriptions for bracing and orthotics
  • Expert advice on home adaptations to facilitate your child’s care and improvement and ability to enjoy everyday activities
  • Therapeutic cast recommendations and management, including serial and bivalve casting services
  • Special expertise and guidance for children with scoliosis and gait dysfunction issues

Our physiatrists and our chief nurse, Lucia Bastianelli, RN, MSN, CPNP, regularly provide support and education, a vital part of our mission to provide outstanding, personalized care to children with cerebral palsy.

Lifelong Cerebral Palsy Care at a Major Boston Hospital

Individualized care from experienced pediatric physiatrists such as Dr. Webster and Dr. Brennan is frequently unavailable at major medical centers. Another advantage of our department is the wide range of other pediatric specialists and therapists we collaborate with to care for your child.

Depending on your child’s needs, we work closely with specialists in areas such as:

Because Floating Hospital for Children is part of Tufts Medical Center, we can provide lifelong care for your child with cerebral palsy. This availability of complete services ensures a smooth transition, including familiar faces, when your child needs specialized adult care.

And because we understand the strain frequent travel can place on you and your child, we work with doctors and therapists in your community to coordinate optimal rehabilitation and long-term planning.

Doctors + Care Team

Harry C. Webster, MD, FAAP

Harry C. Webster, MD, FAAP

Title(s): Physiatrist-in-Chief; Chief, Pediatric Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5626
Fax #: 617-636-5056

Pediatric rehabilitation, spasticity/tone evaluation and treatment, long-term care of chronically impaired children, transition of disabled children to adult services, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, orthotics for gait disorders, pediatric orthotics

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Patrick J. Brennan, MD

Patrick J. Brennan, MD

Title(s): Pediatric Physiatrist; Instructor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4887
Fax #: 617-636-5056

Cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury

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617-636-5626