Computer simulation of pectoralis major muscle strain to guide exercise protocols for patients after breast cancer surgery

Caroline W. Stegink-Jansen, William L. Buford, Rita M. Patterson, Lisa J. Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive study. OBJECTIVES: To quantify and rank the order of strain (length change in proportion to the resting length) of 3 portions of the pectoralis major (PM) muscle during various exercises. BACKGROUND: A biomechanical foundation on which to base exercise prescriptions for patients after breast cancer surgery is lacking. METHODS: An interactive, 3-D, computer graphic simulation system, developed to study biomechanical properties of the musculoskeletal system, was used to simulate movements of the glenohumeral, scapulothoracic, and scapuloclavicular joints of the shoulder, and to estimate strain in 3 portions of the pectoralis major (PM) muscle throughout the motions. The computed tomography scans of 2 male cadavers and literature review formed the basis for the estimations used in the model. Strains in the clavicular, midsternum, and abdominal regions of the PM were expressed as percent strain: [(change in muscle length/resting length) × 100]. Exercise motions were based on PM muscle anatomy and published breast cancer rehabilitation protocols. RESULTS: Strains of the PM regions ranged from -21% shortening of the clavicular region during flexion to 55% lengthening of the abdominal region during the overhead stretch. Strain between adjacent regions was most uniform for the movement of abduction with external rotation, and least uniform with flexion. CONCLUSION: PM muscle lengthening estimates were not linearly proportioned to shoulder joint motions, and varied for 3 portions of the PM. This information may help clinicians and researchers to estimate lengthening of PM portions throughout measurable shoulder motions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-426
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Exercises
  • Modeling
  • Neoplasms
  • Shoulder
  • X-ray computed tomography

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