Material and Methods: 23 patients (50-85 year), receiving HD through AV fistula in one of their upper limbs, at least for 3 months, were enrolled. ROM, muscle strength, and arm circumference of both upper limbs were measured using goniometer, dynamometer and tape-measure, respectively. Then the values of the both sides were compared together.
Results: In ROM tests shoulder forward flexion, backward extension, internal rotation, external rotation, horizontal extension, and horizontal adduction, and in muscle strength tests shoulder abduction and hand grip were significantly (p<0.05) more limited or weaker at the fistula side. Arm circumference was significantly greater at the fistula created limb.
Conclusion: The upper limb, which is involved during HD process, is weaker and has more limited ROM in comparison with the contralateral limb. We suggest more attention to develop specific exercise programs for maintaining the abilities of the limb with AV-fistula access.
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