Distal upper extremity function following proximal humeral resection and reconstruction for tumors: Contralateral comparison

Timothy A. Damron, Michael G. Rock, Mary I. O'Connor, Marjorie E. Johnson, Kai Nan An, Douglas J. Pritchard, Franklin H. Sim, Thomas C. Shives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Most functional analyses after limb salvage operations about the shoulder have focused on proximal function with the assumption that distal function is largely unaffected. This analysis examines distal function objectively. Methods: Objective laboratory data regarding distal upper extremity strength after reconstructive procedures for tumors near the shoulder joint was collected over a 16-year period. Thirty-two patients were able to participate fully in the data collection at an average most recent follow-up duration of >3.5 years. Results: Statistically significant reductions on the involved side compared with the uninvolved side in grip, forearm pronation, forearm supination, elbow flexion, and elbow extension strength were documented (p < 0.05). The magnitude of reduction in strength diminishes distally, with the greatest effect in this group of patients being observed in elbow extension, followed by elbow flexion, forearm supination, and forearm pronation. Grip strength consistently showed the least amount of strength reduction compared with the uninvolved side, even within resection and reconstruction groups. Subjective patient rating of dexterity was no less than 3 of 5. Ninety percent of patients rated their dexterity 4 of 5 (52%) or 5 of 5 (38%). Conclusions: Despite the insistence of "normal" function in the distal upper extremity after limb salvage procedures, complete normality is not maintained. However, the degree of maintenance of distal function appears to be high, especially for grip strength and forearm pronation strength, and patient satisfaction is acceptable. Published by Lippincott-Raven Publishers

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Limb salvage
  • Oncology
  • Reconstruction
  • Sarcoma
  • Shoulder
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Distal upper extremity function following proximal humeral resection and reconstruction for tumors: Contralateral comparison'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this