Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; School of Medicine; Department of Surgery; Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology Oncology
Neoplasms | Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Women's Health
Objective: To evaluate prehabilitation exercises to improve shoulder pain and abduction range of motion (ROM) after breast cancer surgery; to evaluate methods of exercise teaching; to assess postsurgical seroma formation.
Design: Pilot study
Setting: Academic medical center
Participants: 60 breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to either personal exercise instruction, group 1, n=36, or video only instruction, group 2, n=24.
Interventions: Shoulder exercises were assigned to both groups 1 month prior to surgery at an outpatient visit. Group 1 received personal instruction on exercises, plus written exercise instruction, and a link to access an online video. Group 2 received only written exercise instruction and a link to access the online video.
Main Outcome Measures: Exercise compliance, pain (via visual analog scale), shoulder abduction ROM (via goniometer), and presence or absence of seroma.
Results or Clinical Course: 76% of study patients chose to exercise. There was no difference in exercise compliance between personal instruction versus video teaching. (75%, 24/32 in-person vs. 77%, 10/13 video only, OR=1.03). 66% of patients (20/30) lost greater than 10 degrees shoulder abduction ROM at 1 month post surgery. 29% of patients (9/31) had worse shoulder pain at one month post surgery than at baseline (24%, 6/25 exercisers, and 50%, 3/6 non-exercisers). 15% of patients (4/27) had worse shoulder pain at 3 months post surgery than at baseline (8%, 2/25 exercisers, and 100%, 2/2 non-exercisers). Prehabilitation exercise program inferred no additional risk of seroma formation (21%, 7/33 exercisers vs. 22%, 2/9 non-exercisers OR=.94).
Conclusion: In-person teaching does not appear superior to video teaching for prehabilitation exercises in breast cancer. A high quality randomized controlled trial is necessary to assess efficacy of prehabilitation for improving post surgical outcomes. Prehabilitation exercises do not appear to increase risk of seroma formation in breast cancer surgery.
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Reynolds, Sara-Grace; Baima, Jennifer; Waugh, Debra; Woo, Lauren; Sooy, John; Larkin, Anne C.; Ward, B. Marie; and Edmiston, Kathryn, "Prehabilitation for Shoulder Dysfunction in Breast Cancer" (2015). School of Medicine Student Publications. 2.