Orthopedic Considerations for Head and Neck Cancer, Not Just For Lymphedema Therapists!

Saturday April 15, 2023

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Course Description

The person recovering from head and neck cancer may have a complex orthopedic presentation due to the different types of surgeries and reconstructions performed. They may have deficits in the donor sites used to reconstruct the head and neck structures.  For example; to reconstruct the palette on the roof of the mouth, part of the scapula and latissimus may be removed, or the fibula bone may be used to reconstruct the jaw. The patients may present with deficits ranging from cervical dysfunction, transient or permanent shoulder paralysis, hyoid dysfunction, muscle wasting, lymphedema and more. We will not be covering lymphedema treatment in this course except in the context of what to look for and when to refer. These patients/clients may present months to years after their cancer treatment and have a distinct need for physical therapy. As surgical techniques continue to advance, we will see more of these patients in our clinics and will need to have better understanding on how to focus the history taking process and to capture the whole picture.

Level of Course: 

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the surgical interventions for head and neck cancer
  • Understand the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on the tissues in the head and neck
  • Screen for spinal accessory nerve damage
  • Assess the hyoid bone
  • Screen for lymphedema
  • Recall precautions and contraindications
  • Assess the jaw
  • Develop treatment goals and prognosis
  • Develop treatment interventions


Tammy DeMeere PT, DPT, CLT has been specializing in oncology rehabilitation since 2010. She currently practices full time at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan where she treats a case mix of orthopedics, lymphedema and oncology. She participates in 2 symposiums per year and advanced oncology courses to stay at the cutting edge of evidence based treatment for this patient population. She loves to teach and has taught at the University of Michigan Flint, Wayne State, and Oakland University. She has also taught oncology rehab courses for the APTA and for the residents program at RIM.


Course Location

RIM Auditorium (Basement) 261 Mack, Detroit MI 48201


Intended Audience



Course Hours

9:00am – 1:00pm    
Registration will begin at 8:30am
Snacks provided.


Contact Hours: 

4 hours


Registration Fees: 

Tenet/DMC/RIM employees $25
Non Tenet/DMC/RIM employees $50


Class limit: 

36 registrants


Online Registration      


To register visit https://dmc.clubautomation.com

2023 Continuing Education Courses