Rehabilitation of the mastectomy patient: A randomized, blind, prospective study

L. Wingate, I. Croghan, N. Natarajan, A. M. Michalek, C. Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

After biopsy confirmation of breast carcinoma, women who were scheduled to undergo a modified radical mastectomy had demographic data collected, goniometric measurements of shoulder flexion and abduction, and functional evaluation of the ipsilateral shoulder performed, and upper extremity circumferential measurements at five levels determined. Patients were then randomly assigned either to a group that received immediate postoperative physical therapy or to one that did not. Results represent the combination of data from a pilot study and this subsequent study following appropriate statistical analysis. Sixty-four women in the treatment group showed a statistically significant increase in shoulder range of motion in both abduction and flexion as compared to 51 women who received no physical therapy. The treated group also had fewer problems with five of the six upper extremity functional tasks that were assessed. There were no significant differences between the groups for length of hospital stay, postoperative complications, or upper extremity edema. The authors conclude that early physical therapy intervention makes a significant contribution to return to normal function without increasing the incidence of postoperative complications or prolonging hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume70
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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