Our outpatient pediatric physical therapy services and follow-up clinics provide comprehensive care for your child or teen as he or she grows. Many of our young patients are graduates of our pediatric inpatient program who receive ongoing treatment through our unique continuum of care. We also treat patients who’ve been referred to us from external sources.
Your child’s outpatient care begins with an evaluation. A treatment plan is created to meet your child’s individual needs and goals. The length of your child’s prescribed treatment may vary from a few sessions to several months.
Our available pediatric programs, clinics and services include:
• Brachial Plexus Injury Program (see description below)
• Center for Limb Differences
• Cerebral Palsy Program
• Clubfoot (see description below)
• Day Rehab Program
• Feeding Program
• Orthopedic Clinic (see description below)
• Scoliosis (see description below)
• Spasticity Management
• Speech & Language Program
• Spinal Cord Injury (see description below)
• Torticollis & Plagiocephaly Program
Please note the Pediatric Muscular Dystrophy Clinic is no longer offered at Mary Free Bed. Please visit Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for services.
Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation in Holland
Pediatric outpatient services are available at our Holland location. Our occupational and physical therapists and speech and language pathologists have specialized pediatric training and years of experience treating torticollis and plagiocephaly, feeding conditions, concussions and many other diagnoses. Your pediatrician makes a referral to Mary Free Bed requesting your child receive rehabilitation at the Holland location. Click for location details.
Specialized Spaces and Treatments for Young Patients
Our Outpatient Therapy Center offers a variety of specialty therapy areas to meet your child or teen’s needs during their pediatric rehabilitation and therapy. Here, your child will work one-to-one with his or her therapist and other professionals.
Among the features of our Pediatric Outpatient services:
• Child-friendly spaces and décor
• 4 therapy gyms
• Individual treatment spaces
• Child-sized therapy equipment and toys
Your child or teen also has access to a variety of on-site specialty services including:
• Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics
• Biofeedback Laboratory for Neuromuscular Rehabilitation
• Driver Rehabilitation
• Michigan Rehabilitation Services
• Rehab Technology Center
If needed, our therapists can provide home, school or job site evaluations, as well as evaluations and treatment for recent innovative technology.
We require a prescription from your child’s physician in order to begin with the evaluation and treatment. Once we receive the prescription and verify insurance coverage, we’ll contact you to schedule your child’s initial therapy evaluations. Your child must be able to tolerate treatment and have transportation to the outpatient facility. Our outpatient schedulers can offer information on possible community transportation resources.
Mary Free Bed Main Campus
235 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Click for directions
Brachial Plexus Injury
A brachial plexus injury can affect how your child participates in everyday activities like play, school and self-care. These nerve injuries, sometimes referred to as Erb’s palsy or Klumpe’s palsy, can limit the strength and mobility of the affected shoulder, arm or hand. There are a variety of therapeutic options to help your child enjoy greater use of these.
Treatment for a brachial plexus injury includes an evaluation and personalized treatment plan provided through our Outpatient Therapy Center in Grand Rapids. The evaluation process includes interviews with you and other caregivers, coupled with a comprehensive review of your child’s medical history. We observe how your child performs tasks like crawling or walking, reaching for and playing with toys, eating and dressing. We assess your child’s range of motion, sensation, muscle strength and coordination.
Individualized therapy sessions are scheduled if the assessment indicates a need for brachial plexus treatment. We use play and other fun activities to engage your child in therapy sessions that may include gentle stretching and strengthening exercises and sensory techniques. We also demonstrate coordination exercises to increase hand grasp and mobility and adaptive techniques for dressing, bathing and eating.
Depending on your child’s needs, your therapist may recommend specialized brachial plexus treatment, such as splinting, massage, kinesiotape, pool therapy, threshold electrical stimulation (TES) or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Our Pediatric Brachial Plexus Injury Program services are available with a prescription from your child’s physician.
The Clubfoot Center, part of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s outpatient program, offers the Ponseti Method of specialized treatment for babies born with clubfoot. It’s a conservative, nonsurgical approach with excellent success rates and has become the standard of care worldwide.
Clubfoot should be corrected as soon as possible after birth, paving the way for your child to learn to walk with a normal gait pattern.
The Ponseti Method
Developed in the 1940s by the late Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, a pediatric orthopedist at the University of Iowa, the method involves weekly stretching of the deformity followed by application of a long leg cast. Full correction usually is accomplished in four to five weeks. The correction is then maintained with a brace worn at night.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says fewer than five percent of children treated with the Ponseti Method will need surgical correction.
Clubfoot can be easily detected by prenatal ultrasound before birth. Early detection of musculoskeletal abnormalities improves the correction prognosis. It allows our experts to discuss treatment options with parents before birth and begin treatment within one to two weeks after your baby is born.
Dr. Michael David, who heads the Clubfoot Center at Mary Free Bed, studied directly under Dr. Ponseti and has successfully treated many children with clubfoot over the past 15 years. He is one of only two physicians in Michigan certified in the Ponseti Method.
Dr. David is board-certified in foot and ankle surgery, and is a diplomat of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
He is a partner at Foot & Ankle Specialists of West Michigan. He obtained his Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine and completed his surgical residency at Thorek Medical Center in Chicago. He’s a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics and is a clinical instructor at Michigan State University.
Dr. David teams with Mary Free Bed’s Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics department to assist in any necessary casting and bracing to achieve and maintain successful correction. This is an important component of the Ponseti Method in order to maintain correction and prevent possible relapse as your child grows.
The Mary Free Bed Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic specializes in treating children with orthopedic issues. Our services are designed to enhance your child’s life by promoting independence in things like mobility and self-care.
Our clinic physicians and staff offer specialized, expert care with services that include:
• Physician evaluation and follow-up
• Nursing services/care coordination
• Coordination with orthotics
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects an estimated 7 million people in the United States, according to the National Scoliosis Foundation. The condition, typically diagnosed between the ages of 9 and 15, also affects infants and adults of both genders and all races.
While common in children with congenital and neuromuscular diseases, scoliosis is most prevalent in seemingly healthy children and has no known cause. Early detection and proper treatment is key to stopping this potentially debilitating condition.
The Scoliosis Program at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital offers a combination of specialized treatments, including the Schroth Method of physical therapy to correct adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
We also provide customized bracing options to hold the spine in a corrective position to prevent progression. We work closely with your physician to determine the best course of care.
The Schroth Method
Widely used in Europe for decades, the Schroth Method is a proactive, non-surgical approach to correct spinal abnormalities to a more natural position and prevent it from progressing.
The goal-oriented physical therapy is customized to each patient’s unique curvature of the spine. Frequency and duration of treatment are tailored to specific needs of the patient.
The Schroth Method is a three-dimensional exercise approach that includes physical therapy, corrective breathing techniques and postural awareness.
Goals of the Schroth Method
- Correct scoliotic posture
- Minimize curve progression
- Improve general health
- Eliminate pain
- Diminish functional limitations
- Empower the patient to manage their condition
- Prevent surgery
Mary Free Bed physical therapist Andrea Dennis is C1-certified through the Schroth Barcelona Institute to treat adolescents in the Schroth Method. Mary Free Bed’s Outpatient Therapy Center is equipped with specialized tools to facilitate Schroth exercises, including stall bars to elongate the spine and mirrors for visual feedback.
Depending on the patient’s age, degree of curve and bone maturity, customized orthotic bracing also is recommended to manage scoliosis.
Mary Free Bed’s Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics professionals are well-versed in fitting patients with custom scoliosis braces to achieve the most function, independence and mobility. The specialized orthotic devices place the back in a corrective position, helping to manage scoliosis in combination with the Schroth Method of therapy.
Types of scoliosis braces:
- Boston Brace
- Rigo System Cheneau Brace
- Providence Brace
Our Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics department is conveniently located on the same campus in downtown Grand Rapids.
Spinal Cord Injury Clinic
Children and teens with spinal cord injury benefit from ongoing, specialized rehabilitation care. The Mary Free Bed Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Clinic specializes in treating children and teens with spinal cord injury. Our services are designed to enhance your child’s life by promoting independence and functional ability with things like mobility, self-care and communication. Our therapists also provide you and other caregivers with techniques and activities to support your child’s goals.
Our clinic physicians and staff offer expert care with services that include:
- Physician evaluation and follow-up
- Nursing services/care coordination
- Therapy evaluation