Shoulder function in patients undergoing selective neck dissection with or without radiation and chemotherapy

Jeremy P. Watkins, Glenn B. Williams, Anthony A. Mascioli, Jim Y. Wan, Sandeep Samant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Shoulder function can be negatively affected during treatment of upper aerodigestive tract carcinoma. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of selective neck dissection alone or in combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. Methods. We conducted an observational study in adults who underwent selective neck dissection for the treatment of upper aerodigestive tract cancer who were >6 months from completion of their therapy. Recurrent disease and use of flap reconstruction were part of the exclusion criteria. A modified Constant's score was used to evaluate shoulder function. Results. Thirty-four patients (42 selective neck dissections) met the inclusion criterion. Operated shoulder function was significantly (p <.001) decreased as compared to the nonoperated shoulder. There was no statistical difference in the total Constant's score, in the subjective or objective scores among selective neck dissection only, in the selective neck dissection plus radiation therapy, or in the selective neck dissection plus chemoradiation therapy. Conclusion. Selective neck dissection can have a negative effect on shoulder function despite spinal accessory nerve preservation. Adjuvant therapy does not contribute additional detriment to shoulder function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-619
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • Constant's score
  • chemoradiation therapy
  • radiation therapy
  • selective neck dissection
  • shoulder dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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