A 69-year-old woman with chronic upper extremity lymphedema secondary to bilateral mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer 10 years before presented to the clinic with a massive rotator cuff tear. Her shoulder pain and dysfunction persisted despite nonoperative treatment. She underwent left shoulder arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (RCR) and biceps tenotomy. Arm, forearm, and wrist circumference measurements were obtained, preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and 1-week and 2-weeks postoperatively. No permanent increase in extremity circumference measurements was observed.
This case suggests that it is possible to perform an arthroscopic RCR in a patient with chronic upper extremity lymphedema without creating further morbidity.