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Volume 5 (2005), Pages 264-273
Case Study

Managing Scoliosis in a Young Child with Rett Syndrome: A Case Study

1Department of Physical Therapy, Haifa University, Haifa and Therapeutic Department, Zvi Quittman Residential Center, Millie Shime Campus, Elwyn, Jerusalem, Israel
2National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
3Department of Physiotherapy, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

Received 15 January 2005; Revised 7 March 2005; Accepted 8 March 2005

Copyright © 2005 Meir Lotan et al.


Rett syndrome is a genetic disorder primarily affecting females. One of its most disabling features is the severe and rapid progression of scoliosis. So far, only surgical intervention has succeeded in reversing the development of scoliosis in Rett syndrome.The present study describes a new management approach implemented with a girl with Rett syndrome. The core of the management regime was intensive: asymmetrical activation of trunk muscles through equilibrium reactions. The X-rays accompanying the article (evaluated by four experienced orthopedic surgeons blinded to the intervention process) suggested that the intervention was successful in reversing the progress of the scoliosis for the above-mentioned child. Discontinuation of treatment led to severe and rapid deterioration of the spinal curve.Due to the fact that this was a case study, generalization is limited, but we suggest further investigation and studies with this method.