Background: Axillary web syndrome (AWS) is one of the most prevalent and underrecognized disorders affecting breast cancer (BC) women. However, the optimal therapeutic strategy to manage AWS is far from being fully characterized. Therefore, this systematic review aims to provide a broad overview of the available rehabilitation treatments in this burdensome condition. Methods: On 13 January 2022, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane, and PEDro were systematically searched for clinical studies assessing rehabilitation interventions in post-surgical BC women with AWS. The outcomes analyzed were pain, AWS clinical resolution, upper limb function, and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). Results: The search identified 1115 records, of which 11 studies were included. A total of 174 patients were assessed (ages ranging from 37 and 66 years old). The interventions included manual lymphatic drainage, manual therapy, stretching, resistance training, mobilization techniques, and Kinesio tape. Positive improvements were reported in terms of pain relief (in 7 studies), AWS clinical resolution (in 9 studies), upper limb function (in 10 studies), and HR-QoL (in 2 studies). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that rehabilitation might be considered an effective therapeutic strategy in AWS patients. Further RCTs are needed to characterize the optimal rehabilitative interventions.

Axillary Web Syndrome in Breast Cancer Women: What Is the Optimal Rehabilitation Strategy after Surgery? A Systematic Review

Losco, Luigi;Alfano, Carmine;
2022

Abstract

Background: Axillary web syndrome (AWS) is one of the most prevalent and underrecognized disorders affecting breast cancer (BC) women. However, the optimal therapeutic strategy to manage AWS is far from being fully characterized. Therefore, this systematic review aims to provide a broad overview of the available rehabilitation treatments in this burdensome condition. Methods: On 13 January 2022, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane, and PEDro were systematically searched for clinical studies assessing rehabilitation interventions in post-surgical BC women with AWS. The outcomes analyzed were pain, AWS clinical resolution, upper limb function, and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). Results: The search identified 1115 records, of which 11 studies were included. A total of 174 patients were assessed (ages ranging from 37 and 66 years old). The interventions included manual lymphatic drainage, manual therapy, stretching, resistance training, mobilization techniques, and Kinesio tape. Positive improvements were reported in terms of pain relief (in 7 studies), AWS clinical resolution (in 9 studies), upper limb function (in 10 studies), and HR-QoL (in 2 studies). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that rehabilitation might be considered an effective therapeutic strategy in AWS patients. Further RCTs are needed to characterize the optimal rehabilitative interventions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4802994
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