Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Care in Minnesota

A child wearing a superhero cape strikes a heroic pose.

Mayo Clinic's Pediatric Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit on the Minnesota campus provides coordinated, child- and family-focused, inpatient rehabilitation care to children and teenagers from birth through age 18 with serious injury or illness resulting in disability.

Our inpatient program provides a vital link in the continuum of recovery care between the intensive care or acute care hospital and transition to home. The program's goal is to help children and teens optimize recovery, maximize quality of life, and live as independently as possible within their families, schools and communities.

An adult and a child work together on a creative project in rehabilitation.


Learn more about CARF

Mayo Clinic Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Program is accredited as a Pediatric Specialty Program by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International. This means that Mayo Clinic Pediatric Rehabilitation applies CARF International's comprehensive set of standards for quality to our practice, and we're committed to continuous quality improvement.

Facilities and equipment

A Pediatric Rehabilitation therapist conducts an exercise therapy session with a child and her mother in a therapy gym.

Mayo's Pediatric Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit is based in Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, in Rochester, Minnesota. The rehabilitation unit is on the same campus as the pediatric ICU and general pediatric care floors. That means immediate access to Mayo's pediatric and surgical specialty expertise is available.

Dedicated pediatric single rooms offer a sleeping option for parents who choose to stay overnight with their children. Pediatric gyms offer toys and equipment appropriate for all ages and sizes to facilitate recovery and functional improvement.

State-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment includes robotic trainers for arm and leg function, body weight-supported gait trainers, functional electrical stimulation (FES), including FES bike, Ovation balance training system, SmartDrive mobility device and many other options.

Admission as an inpatient

Pediatric patients enter the Pediatric Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit in one of these ways:

  • Following referral to Pediatric Rehabilitation by a pediatric or surgical service at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital
  • As a direct admission from a separate institution after evaluation by a Mayo Clinic admissions coordinator
  • Admission from outpatient status if it is determined that an inpatient stay to meet the rehabilitation needs of your child is medically necessary

Before admission to our Pediatric Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit, experts evaluate your child's medical status and ability to participate in intensive therapy program sessions. Then they discuss rehabilitation goals with you and your child. The focus is to improve function. Your child must be medically stable and able to participate in about three hours of therapy a day while still requiring physician oversight and nursing care.

A father and daughter brush teeth in the same mirror.

We care for children and teenagers with many different diagnoses, but brain and spinal cord dysfunction due to trauma, cancer or illness are the most common causes for admission to the Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Program.

Treatment team

An adolescent and physical therapist share some time together.

Mayo's Pediatric Rehabilitation team includes — first and foremost — your child and family. Based on your child's needs, experts may include a pediatric physiatrist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech and language pathologist, care coordinator, recreational therapist, rehabilitation nurse, neuropsychologist, social worker, dietitian, orthotist, prosthetist, respiratory therapist, music therapist, and child life specialist.

Therapists work together with a rehabilitation patient using braces on a treadmill.

We work directly with many other pediatric specialists, when needed, such as neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, transplant surgeons and others to provide coordinated care.

Specialty consultations, diagnostic tests and emergency services all occur in a timely, seamless manner since the rehabilitation unit is part of the Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, which includes the children's hospital.

Plan of care

A father kisses his cheerful son between therapy exercises.

A goal-directed therapeutic plan of care is established for your child, based on individual needs, and may include any of these elements.

  • Medical management.
  • Techniques to improve self-care skills, mobility, bowel and bladder function, swallowing, speech and language skills, cognitive skills, and sensorimotor and perceptual skills based on age, developmental stage, cultural background and psychosocial considerations.
  • Additional services such as assistive technology, augmentative and alternative communication, environmental modification, peer visitation, or pet therapy may be provided.
  • At any time during your child's stay, consultation with any of Mayo Clinic Children's Center pediatric medical and surgical specialists may be arranged as needed.
  • Team members regularly monitor progress, update plans of care and communicate with each other as well as with your child and family.

Planning for progression in rehabilitation

Planning for care along the continuum of recovery from illness or injury begins at the first contact with our program. As part of your child's care, our experts:

  • Continuously update the plan through regular interaction among program team members, your child, your family, and your child's school.
  • Emphasize the educational needs of your child.
  • Provide you and your child with recommendations — before dismissal from the inpatient setting — on next steps. These may include outpatient therapies, home exercise programs, and follow-up consultations with therapists and physicians.
A boy draws with coloring markers in an exercise.


Mayo Clinic Pediatric Rehabilitation is known for outstanding expert care of children and teens, as shown by outcomes data:

  • The average length of stay for our pediatric patients is a couple of weeks and is shorter than the national average for similar pediatric rehabilitation units.
  • The functional improvement our patients experience exceeds national norms. This means that, on average, our patients get better faster than at other similar facilities.
  • After treatment in our inpatient unit, the majority of our patients are discharged to home, though some choose to stay at the nearby Ronald McDonald house for ongoing outpatient therapy before going to their home communities.
  • All responders to our patient and family satisfaction surveys indicate that they would recommend Mayo Clinic Pediatric Rehabilitation to a friend or family member with a similar problem.
Feb. 16, 2024