Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira, MD - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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  • Only Hospital Ranked #1 in America by U.S. News & World Report since 1991
  • 800,000+ outpatient visits each year
  • 5,000+ inpatients treated each year, system-wide
  • 50+ sites of care throughout Illinois and Indiana
  • One of only 2% of hospitals to receive three consecutive Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Excellence.
  • 182-bed inpatient hospital in the heart of Chicago
  • Largest rehabilitation research center in the world
  • Only rehabilitation hospital with eight federally designated research centers
  • 370+ active research projects in neuroscience, bionics, robotics, and musculoskeletal medicine
  • Academic home of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira

Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira, MD

  • Director, Cerebral Palsy Program, RIC
  • Professor of Pediatrics and PM&R, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira please call 800-354-7342 or use our online form.

Accepting new patients.


Year began practicing:
Year joined staff:

Conditions Treated / Services

  • Amputation and Limb Deficiencies
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Botox (Botulinum toxin)
  • Brain Injury Rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Congenital Anomolies
  • Developmental Delay
  • Gait Disorders
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Spasticity
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Stroke Rehabilitation

Clinical Interests

CP, Cerebral Palsy, Hypertonia, Diplegia, Hemiplegia, Quadriplegia, Hypotonia, Developmental Delay, Amputation, Spasticity

Education, Residency and Internship


University of Illinois College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine


University of Chicago Hospital and Clinics, Pediatric Medicine
RIC, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Additional Information

Patient Story

Cerebral Palsy: Natalie Davis' story

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Cerebral Palsy (past president)
  • American Academy of PM&R
  • Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Children With Disability

Honors & Awards

  • 2005 Goldstein Award, United Cerebral Palsy Foundation


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Research Interests

Spasticity, botulinum toxin treatment, ITB, cerebral palsy, robotics, movement with dance

Certifications & Licenses

  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Pediatrics


Dr. Deborah Gaebler-Spira completed a pediatric residency at the University of Chicago and then a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). Dr. Gaebler-Spira is board certified in pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation and pediatric rehabilitation medicine. She has been affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hospital and RIC. Dr. Gaebler-Spira has also been a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and pediatrics for 25 years. 

Dr. Gaebler-Spira's primary clinical work is with children with cerebral palsy and spasticity management. She is past president of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. Her research interests have included: spasticity management, cerebral palsy ( of spasticity and have obtained United Cerebral Palsy grants to evaluate the impact of Botulinum Toxins on the child as well as dance for motor learning and the child with cerebral palsy.  She has collaborated with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Bioengineers on measurement of Hypertonia and is currently working with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers grant “Technologies for Children with Orthopaedic Disabilities.  The major goal of this project is to conduct research and development of advanced technologies for children with orthopaedic disabilities”.

Office Information

Office Information

To schedule an appointment with Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira please call 800-354-7342 or use our online form.