pISSN 2288-6982
eISSN 2288-7105




Phys. Ther. Korea 2020; 27(3): 220-226

Published online August 20, 2020

© Korean Research Society of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy for Esophageal Cancer Patient With Long Thoracic Neuropathy After Esophagectomy: A Case Report

Junghwa Do1 , PhD, DPT, One-bin Lim2 , PhD, PT, Ja-young Kim1 , MD, Jae Yong Jeon1 , PhD, MD, Young-ki Cho1 , PhD, PT

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, 2Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea

Correspondence to: Jae Yong Jeon

Received: July 3, 2020; Revised: July 22, 2020; Accepted: July 31, 2020

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Esophageal cancer is a representative cancer that occur physical deterioration but, physical problems after surgery were not well reported. The purpose of this study is to report on the long thoracic neuropathy after surgery, and to identify the symptoms and effects of physical therapy after esophageal cancer surgery. This is a case of a 61-year-old man who showed winging of the scapula with long thoracic nerve injury on the results of electromyography after an esophageal cancer surgery. Physical therapy programs were implemented 8 sessions during hospitalization. The quality of life, fatigue, shoulder range of motion (ROM), numeric rating scale (NRS), 6-minute walk test, and 30-second chair stand test were assessed. The quality of life, fatigue, shoulder ROM, NRS (pain), 6-minute walk test, and 30-second chair stand test were improved. However, the esophageal-specific symptom was not different after physical therapy program. As esophageal cancer suffers from physical difficulties after surgery, physical therapy programs are thought to be helpful.

Keywords: Esophageal neoplasms, Exercise, Pain, Quality of life