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Clin Rehabil. 2009 Feb;23(2):117-24. doi: 10.1177/0269215508096173.

Efficacy of pneumatic compression and low-level laser therapy in the treatment of postmastectomy lymphoedema: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the long-term efficacy of pneumatic compression and low-level laser therapies in the management of postmastectomy lymphoedema.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Cukurova University, Turkey.

SUBJECTS:

Forty-seven patients with postmastectomy lymphoedema were enrolled in the study.

INTERVENTIONS:

Patients were randomly allocated to pneumatic compression (group I, n=24) and low-level laser (group II, n=23) groups. Group I received 2 hours of compression therapy and group II received 20 minutes of laser therapy for four weeks. All patients were advised to perform daily limb exercises.

MAIN MEASURES:

Demographic features, difference between sum of the circumferences of affected and unaffected limbs (delta C), pain with visual analogue scale and grip strength were recorded.

RESULTS:

Mean age of the patients was 48.3 (10.4) years. Delta C decreased significantly at one, three and six months within both groups, and the decrease was still significant at month 12 only in group II (P = 0.004). Improvement of group II was greater than that of group I post treatment (P = 0.04) and at month 12 after 12 months (P = 0.02). Pain was significantly reduced in group I only at posttreatment evaluation, whereas in group II it was significant post treatment and at follow-up visits. No significant difference was detected in pain scores between the two groups. Grip strength was improved in both groups, but the differences between groups were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients in both groups improved after the interventions. Group II had better long-term results than group I. Low-level laser might be a useful modality in the treatment of postmastectomy lymphoedema.

PMID:
19164399
DOI:
10.1177/0269215508096173
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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