Severe lymphedema of the arm as a potential cause of shoulder trauma
Severe lymphedema of the arm as a potential cause of shoulder trauma.
PUBLICATION: R. Avrahami, E. Gabbay, B. Bsharah, M. Haddad, A. Koren, J. Dahn, A. Zelikovski. (2004) Lymphology, 37, 202-205.
STUDY SIZE: 10 patients
This study assessed the role of lymphatic physical therapy in reducing disabling shoulder pain in patients with lymphedema of the shoulder. Ten women with arm lymphedema after surgery for breast cancer were examined. All had shoulder pain. Five patients had a tear in the supraspinatus muscle and five had chronic bursitis. Treatment consisted of manual lymph drainage and pneumatic compression with Lympha Press®.
RESULTS: The combined treatment reduced arm volume by an average of 170 ml, with improvement of arm mobility and a drastic reduction in shoulder pain. Lymphedema of the arm can cause severe shoulder trauma, pain, and disability. Proper treatment can reduce these effects. Patients should be referred for early treatment and follow-up to avoid permanent damage to the shoulder muscles.