Physical Therapy Jimmy Fund Clinic

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Boston Children's Hospital works with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to deliver comprehensive care to children with and survivors of all types of childhood cancers.

How can physical therapy help?

Often children undergoing treatment for cancer can experience a decrease in range of motion, strength, endurance, delayed milestones or problems with balance and limited mobility.

Our physical therapists work with patients to improve and restore the involved areas in order to enhance overall function.

How are physical therapy programs designed?

Physical therapists perform through evaluations before establishing treatment programs. Treatment programs depend on the child's medical status and are always individualized to meet each child's specific needs.

Programs may include stretching exercises, light resistance exercises, balance exercises, aerobic activities, general conditioning, and developmental activities. Some exercises or activities may be limited or modified, depending on the child's medical status, especially their platelet count.

When is physical therapy available?

Physical therapists from Boston Children's Hospital work at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and are available at Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic on a limited basis, depending on patient needs, Monday through Friday.

Physical therapists provide consultation in the clinic, as well as direct intervention when appropriate. When necessary, children can be referred for physical therapy at Boston Children's Hospital, or to facilities within the community.

Please speak with your child's doctor or nurse practitioner if you feel your child may benefit from physical therapy, and an appointment can be scheduled.

For additional information, call 617-355-7212.

Neuro-Oncology Clinic

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Children with brain tumors are treated through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Pediatric Brain Tumor Program. The program brings together specialists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital, including physical therapists.

How can physical therapy help?

Often, patients who are undergoing treatment for a brain tumor or who are recovering from brain tumor intervention, experience side effects related to the tumor as well as from various treatment interventions.

Different therapies, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can have specific effects on the body and can sometimes lead to:

  • bone and soft tissue abnormalities
  • muscle weakness
  • limited range of motion and flexibility
  • obesity
  • functional limitations
  • decreased endurance
  • delayed or missed developmental milestones

Our physical therapists work with patients to target problem areas in order to improve development and overall function.

What happens during a clinic visit?

Physical therapists are available on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Pediatric Neuro-oncology Brain Tumor and Outcomes clinics. Therapists in the clinics provide consultation as well as direct treatment when appropriate.

Physical therapists may provide home programs including stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, developmental activities, balance activities, and general conditioning or aerobic activities.

Follow-up sessions at the clinics for re-evaluation as well as modification or progression of treatment programs are periodically scheduled. If appropriate, individuals can be referred to physical therapy at Boston Children's Hospital or local facilities.

For additional information, call 617-355-7212.

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Graft Versus Host Disease Clinic

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Graft Versus Host Disease Clinic is a clinic of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and is specifically a part of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Program. The clinic team includes a variety of specialists and meets on the 4th or last Thursday of the month.

What is Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD)?

GVHD is a complication that results from a reaction of donated bone marrow against a recipient's own body tissues. The "graft" is the bone marrow transplant and the "host" is the recipient. The body tissues most frequently involved are the skin, eyes, liver, stomach and intestines. There are also secondary effects from the necessary medications (e.g. prednisone, cyclosporine, antibiotics).

How do physical therapists help?

The effects of GVHD are varied in nature and in levels of severity. Physical therapists focus their attention on those aspects and impairments which effect general function and activity levels in the home, school or community. These may include:

  • Muscle performance and endurance
  • Joint mobility and muscle extensibility
  • Breathing and general body endurance
  • General Functional and daily activities
  • Modification and adaptations to improve ease of activity
  • Contributions to support and coping strategies
  • Communications with local therapists

What happens during a clinic visit?

The physical therapy team will meet with you to discuss safe activities for your child. Recommendations for services at school or locally are also provided.

For additional information, call 617-355-7212.

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