Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
Session and Year of Graduation
Laura Frey Law
Background: Rasmussen’s encephalitis is a rare neurological disorder, known for unilateral inflammation of the cerebral cortex, most commonly occurring in children.1 The only known cure for the seizures associated with the syndrome is cerebral hemispherectomy. Physical therapy following this procedure is vital for return to prior level of function and to optimize independence. One rehabilitation tool is The Universal Exercise Unit (UEU), a form of body weight supported training that uses a system of bungee cords and pulleys to facilitate or resist movements. The purpose of this case is to describe the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU) as an intervention for a child following hemispherectomy surgery for Rasmussen’s encephalitis. Case Description: A nine-year-old girl underwent cerebral hemispherectomy about 1 year prior to rehabilitation in the Universal Exercise Unit. Intervention: The patient completed two 8-week intensive outpatient sessions approximately 6 months apart, consisting of three 60 minute sessions per week inside the Universal Exercise Unit (UEU). Outcome Assessment: The “Universal Exercise Unit Skills Assessment” was the primary outcome assessment used, consisting of 18 functional items, scored 0-6 based on level of assistance needed to complete each task. Discussion: This case describes a unique rehabilitation treatment option for patients who have undergone cerebral hemispherectomy. The Universal Exercise Unit Skills Assessment scores for the patient in this case study improved in both 8-week intensive sessions, and the patient demonstrated functional improvements in kneeling and half kneeling, half kneel to stand transfers, sit to stand transfers, and single leg stance. These improvements suggest that the Universal Exercise Unit may be a beneficial intervention for children following hemispherectomy.
Copyright © 2017 Abbie Wooten