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Oxford Children’s Rehabilitation Service

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A long-term diagnosis, life-changing injury or significant orthopaedic surgery can have a major impact on our ability to move - to sit, stand and walk. Physiotherapists work to address these issues and improve areas of difficulty.

At Oxford Children's Rehabilitation Service we work with children and their families to optimise their function and independence, and help them understand why their bodies may now work in a different way.

We use specialist handling and exercises to help the affected parts of the brain, muscles or joints learn how to move the body in the best way possible. We teach children and their families how to perform exercises and take more control of managing their condition.

We work closely with doctors, to help them decide what medication might reduce pain or stiffness, and with Occupational Therapists to improve children's ability to perform everyday tasks.

Your child's appointment

We see inpatients in the Children's Critical Care Unit, or on a ward in Oxford Children's Hospital. We may use a wheelchair to bring your child to our gym or treatment room on Level 1 of the Children's Hospital.

We see outpatients at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. An outpatient appointment usually takes about an hour, depending on your child's energy levels. Sometimes we use equipment such as walking aids or balance trainers to help them work on these skills.

If we feel that splints for standing or walking would be beneficial, we work with Orthotists. If your child already has any walking aids or splints, please bring them with you.

We look at what changes may have occurred with your child's movements and see if new activities are appropriate to work on their posture and balance.


If appropriate, we may offer some children an aquatherapy session in the warm water pool at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. During the session a therapist will be in the water with them, and their parent or carer will be on the poolside.

If your child is offered one of these sessions, please bring their swim suit, swimming nappies (if appropriate) and a cold drink for them.