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The Impact of Breast Reduction Surgery on Low-Back Compressive Forces and Function in Individuals with Macromastia

Foreman, K Bo P.T., Ph.D.; Dibble, Leland E. P.T., Ph.D.; Droge, John Ph.D.; Carson, Randy D.P.T.; Rockwell, W Bradford M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2009 - Volume 124 - Issue 5 - p 1393-1399
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181b988aa

Background: Macromastia can be a morbid condition causing affected women to endure shoulder pain, back pain, intertrigo, and shoulder grooving from the bra straps. Subjective symptoms are effectively relieved by reduction mammaplasty surgery. Reliable objective evidence is limited in evaluating benefits for this patient population.

Methods: Eleven women undergoing reduction mammaplasty were evaluated before surgery and 3 months after surgery. Evaluation modeled maximal compressive forces at the low back during an unconstrained lifting task using inverse dynamics and measured the subjective level of disability using the Functional Rating Index.

Results: The analysis of the kinematic and kinetic data demonstrated no significant difference in ankle, knee, and hip joint angles between pretests and posttests. In addition, the average maximum low-back compressive forces decreased 35 percent for the unconstrained lifting task, and the Functional Rating Index scores improved 76 percent following surgery. Greatest improvement was reported for the frequency of pain and travel.

Conclusion: Reduction mammaplasty surgery produced objective improvement in low-back compressive forces and patients’ reported level of functional disability.

Salt Lake City, Utah

From the Division of Plastic Surgery and the Departments of Physical Therapy and Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah.

Received for publication November 7, 2007; accepted February 27, 2009.

Disclosure: This research was supported by the Center for Contemporary Rehabilitation Research, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

K. Bo Foreman, P.T., Ph.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Utah, 520 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108,

©2009American Society of Plastic Surgeons