The effect of early customized vestibular rehabilitation on balance after acoustic neuroma resection
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Clinical rehabilitation. - London
, p. 698-713
University of Antwerp
Objective: To compare the effect of early customized vestibular rehabilitation with general instructions in patients after acoustic neuroma surgery. Setting: Tertiary referral centre. Subjects: Fifty-three patients after surgery. Design: A prospective assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial. Interventions: After stratification for age (<50 years; ¡Ý50 years), patients were randomly allocated into groups receiving general instructions or customized vestibular rehabilitation protocols for 12 weeks. Outcome measures: Standing Balance Sum, Timed Up and Go test, Tandem Gait and Dynamic Gait Index. Balance performance was assessed preoperatively, at discharge (one week after surgery), three, six, nine, 12, 26 and 52 weeks after surgery. Results and discussion: All subjects clearly improved within the first six weeks after surgery. However, older subjects receiving vestibular rehabilitation performed significantly (P<0.05) better on standing balance, Timed Up and Go test and Tandem Gait, when compared with the older group that received only general instructions. This effect persisted up to 12 weeks and also became apparent on the Dynamic Gait Index. In addition, the older vestibular rehabilitation group had better balance scores at 12 weeks when compared with their original preoperative scores (P<0.05). This pattern remained even up to one year after surgery (P<0.05). Conclusion: In patients over 50, early vestibular rehabilitation facilitates recovery of postural control after acoustic neuroma surgery. Customized vestibular rehabilitation should be given in addition to general instructions that stress the need of exposure to movement. Retention of the early beneficial effects even one year after surgery stresses the importance of customized vestibular rehabilitation.