2018 Volume 21 Issue 2 Pages 39-43
Objective: To evaluate the association between the cross-sectional area of selected shoulder and scapular muscles and the range of shoulder abduction, early after neck dissection surgery. Patients and Methods: Twenty-seven patients (contributing 34 upper limbs), who had undergone neck dissection surgery for head and neck malignancy, were enrolled into the study. Loss of strength of the trapezius muscle at 1-month post-surgery was quantified by the change in active range of shoulder abduction (%A-ROM), measured by hand-held goniometry in a standing position, from baseline, before surgery. The cross-sectional area of the following muscles were measured on unenhanced computed tomography images after surgery: trapezius, rhomboid, serratus anterior, pectoralis major, deltoid, and biceps brachii. Results: There was a significant positive correlation between the %A-ROM and the cross-sectional area of the rhomboid muscle. Conclusion: Greater active shoulder abduction early after surgery is associated with a greater cross-sectional area of the rhomboid muscle. This muscle should be included in intensive programs for rehabilitation of upper limb movement after neck dissection surgery.