The University of Arizona
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M Cardone, F Cappellino, S Vincenzo, G Moneta, A Failla, M Iosa, B Monni, MR Fantegrossi, V Rubeghi, S Michelini


This study aimed to provide information on proprioception alterations in lymphedema-affected limbs. Blindfolded subjects sat at a table with their forearms positioned on paddles. The hinges of the paddles were aligned with the elbow joint and an electronic goniometer was positioned to measure the angle of the forearm. Paddles were moved by an electric servomotor with a slow angular speed that was barely appreciated by the subjects. Subjects were then asked to guess the position of the affected arm in comparison with the unaffected arm to study the position sense of the lymphedema-affected arm. The study investigated 50 women affected by secondary upper limb lymphedema by measuring the difference in terms of degrees of arch of movement in comparison with the unaffected arm and also both duration of lymphedema and the circumference of the forearm. Results were matched with a control group of 50 unaffected women providing proof of compromised proprioception in lymphedema-affected arms. In addition, results also showed a correlation with duration of lymphedema but not with size (stage) of the lymphedematous arm.

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