Mary T. Gray

Date of Award


Document Type



Pediatric, Scoliosis, Schroth method, FITS concept, lumbar radiculopathy, fibro-lipoma, filum terminal, Cobb angle, Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS)


Background and Purpose. Physical therapy as an intervention for scoliosis typically involves a method-based scoliosis specific approach to treatment that requires extensive training such as the Schroth method or FITS concept. The purpose of this study is to determine if physical therapy treatment alone, when modeled after the Schroth method and FITS concept can be an effective treatment method for lumbar radiculopathy and pain secondary to mild scoliosis.

Case Description. The patient featured in this case report is a 16-year-old female with a medical diagnosis of scoliosis and fibro-lipoma on her filum terminal. The patient had a Cobb angle of 17 degrees and experienced lower extremity radicular symptoms.

Intervention. Intervention included therapeutic exercise to strengthen abdominal and gluteal musculature, stretching of trunk musculature, neuromuscular reeducation to promote postural alignment and education on scoliosis, vertebral anatomy, postural positioning, and safe lifting techniques.

Outcomes. Outcomes were assessed using the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), side bend range of motion of the trunk and strength of trunk flexion, trunk rotation, hip abduction and hip flexion. At discharge, the LEFS score improved from 67/80 to 80/80. Side bend range of motion was within 0.5cm bilaterally. Trunk flexion, trunk rotation, hip flexion and hip abduction all measured 5/5 strength.

Discussion. The results of this study suggest that physical therapy treatment when modeled after concepts from the Schroth method, FITS concept are an effective intervention for the 16-year-old female featured in this case study.