Low-level laser therapy versus trunk stabilization exercises on sternotomy healing after coronary artery bypass grafting: a randomized clinical trial
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) versus trunk stabilization exercises on sternotomy healing following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. Forty-five male patients who had acute sternal instability post-CABG surgery in the age range of 45–65 years were divided randomly into three equal groups (n = 15). The laser group received LLLT, while the exercise group received trunk stabilization exercises. The control group only received a routine cardiac rehabilitation programme, which was also provided to both the laser and the exercise groups. All groups were offered 12 sessions over 4 weeks. Sternal separation, median sternotomy photographic analysis, pain and activities of daily living (ADL) performance were evaluated pre- and post-treatment. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. There was a significant decrease among the laser group in upper-sternal separation, while the exercise and control groups showed a non-significant decrease. In terms of mid-sternal separation, laser and exercise groups showed a significant decrease while the control group showed a non-significant decrease. In terms of lower-sternal separation, the exercise group showed a significant decrease, while the laser and control groups showed a non-significant decrease. Post-treatment between-groups analysis showed a significant difference only among the laser and control groups with regard to upper-sternal separation, while analysis of the laser, exercise and control groups in the case of upper-sternal separation and the between-groups comparison in terms of mid- and lower-sternal separation revealed no significant differences. LLLT and trunk stabilization exercises were found to be the most effective methods for sternotomy healing post-CABG surgery, with LLLT offering superior performance in the case of the upper sternum while trunk stabilization exercises were more effective for the lower sternum.
KeywordsCoronary artery bypass grafting Low-level laser therapy Sternotomy healing Trunk stabilization exercises
We would like to thank all the study patients and team members at the National Heart Institute for general and technical support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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