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Israeli doctors cure paralyzed 6-year-old girl in complicated surgery inside the country

Ruth Rosenthal suffered from paralysis after falling and injuring her neck, but doctors managed to restore function to her hands and legs.


Six-year-old Ruthie Rosenthal, who suffered from paralysis after she fell and injured her neck, has managed to get back up and walking.

Ruthie, a smiling, happy, Down’s Syndrome child, fell about a year ago and as a result, her hands and legs were paralyzed and she was forced to use a wheelchair, according to a report in Israel Hayom.

Complicated lifesaving back surgery succeeded in transforming her situation. “Ruthie had a life-threatening condition when she came to Hadassah for treatment,” said Dr. Josh Schroder, a senior orthopedist at Hadassah who treated the child after she had suffered from dislocated vertebrae and had been treated at a hospital in the center of the country.

She had undergone lumbar spinal fusion surgery which used screws to connect her skull and chest but the resulting pressure on her spine caused her to stop walking and she also lost the function of her hands. The doctor said that “It was clear that she required immediate surgery. I contacted the head of the spinal surgery unit at Hadassah, Dr. Leon Kaplan, in order to draw up a plan for the complicated operation.”

The group of specialists decided on surgery in stages on the anterior and posterior areas of Ruthy’s neck, performed by Dr. Schroder, Dr. Leon Kaplan, Dr. Moni Benifla, a pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Menahem Gross, a pediatric ENT specialist and a group of senior anesthesiologists.

“The last time an operation like this was performed was by Prof. Kaplan himself, the only person who does such surgery in Israel,” said Dr. Schroder. “During the surgery we cut away the upper part of the spine and released the previous fusion in order to free the posterior vertebrae. We then performed a new fusion. Spinal surgery on such a narrow spine is very dangerous and sensitive and requires precise and meticulous work.”

Schroder says that “This is a very rare case. Only due to the capabilities of the multifaceted team we managed to find a solution. Ruthie is now walking and has even strengthened her walking at the Alyn rehabilitation


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