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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Paediatric Orthopaedics

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Paediatric occupational therapy

The paediatric occupational therapy team work with children between the ages of 0 - 16 years and focus on the assessment and treatment of:

  • children having elective orthopaedic surgery, such as spinal, arm, hip or leg surgery, which may change their ability to move about freely and take part in their usual activities for a period of time
  • children who live with rheumatic conditions, which are having an impact on their everyday life and independence; for example, school attendance, handwriting and participation in sport or social activities
  • children who live with chronic pain, affecting their ability to regularly participate in age-appropriate activities.

Assessments and treatments are based on the needs of the child and their family. They can include the following.

  • Preparing for surgery and the practical implications for everyday family life and routine.
  • Assessing posture and seating.
  • Prescribing wheelchairs/buggies.
  • Advice and teaching on hoisting and manual handling.
  • Advice on safe car seating after surgery.
  • Home or school visits.
  • Recommending and organising adaptations to accommodate the child's needs at home and school.
  • Communication with and referrals to community services.
  • Practising safe bed, chair, toilet, bath and car transfers following surgery.
  • Practising washing and dressing independently.
  • Making splints to support inflamed joints.
  • Life skill training for example, assertiveness, managing pressure, healthy time management and healthy self-esteem.
  • Advice on setting realistic goals.
  • Advice on handwriting.
  • Advice on pacing activities to manage fatigue.
  • Advice on techniques to aid sleep.
  • Relaxation therapy.