Axillary Web Syndrome, A Complication of Breast Cancer: What the Orthopaedic Physical Therapist Needs to Know

Background & Purpose: One particular group of people accessing physical therapy services, and whose numbers are steadily increasing, are breast cancer survivors. Axillary web syndrome (AWS) is one complication of breast cancer treatment that can be easily misdiagnosed without an understanding of breast cancer treatment and its effects on the musculoskeletal and lymphatic systems. Methods: Literature search in PubMed and CINAHL yielded 25 articles on the topic of AWS. Fourteen articles met the authors’ inclusion criteria. Findings: Axillary web syndrome was first reported in the literature in 2001 and the incidence rate among breast cancer survivors is 28% to 36%. The most significant impairment is limited shoulder abduction and several articles report positive results with physical therapy intervention.

 

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2016-07-02T11:14:40+00:00March 5th, 2016|Cancer, Occupational Therapist|0 Comments

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